Monday, 14 July 2008

All Hell Broke Loose

When it rains in Kuala Lumpur all hell will break loose. And all hell broke loose today.

It started raining cats and dogs at about 3.00pm and by the time work ended about 5.30pm the traffic jam was atrocious. In fact 'atrocious' is too mild a word to describe the after-rain traffic jams in Kuala Lumpur. I didn’t put a picture for this entry because it’s depressing to see so many souls while their time away in traffic.

It took me approximately two hours to get from my office in the Golden Triangle to my apartment in Ampang. That’s two freaking hours just to travel approximately 8 kilometres. That’s two hours of sitting in a sardine packed bus with ladies bumping their handbags against you because they are holding on for dear life as the bus driver manoeuvre the bus through the horrendous traffic.

I was lucky enough to secure a seat on the bus. But by the time I reached my destination my butt was getting numb; numb from sitting on the hard seats of the RapidKL bus that are not meant for sitting two whole hours. I just wanted to retreat into the serenity of my apartment and bolt the world out.

I wonder how come traffic jams in KL get so bad when it rains. Traffic is already bad on a normal day but it gets worst whenever it rains. How come the influx of cars suddenly increases when it rains? Did everyone suddenly decide to get into their cars and drive home from work? Is it because of floods? Is it because of the strong winds that caused trees braches to fall and block traffic? What?

Sure traffic problems are a bane in most cities. But what distinguishes a developed city from an emerging city (read: Third World) is good connectivity within the city with hassle free traffic.

City Hall has realised this and the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020 has come into being to steer Kuala Lumpur 'towards a world class city', as its tagline goes. If you visit:

you'll see that Item 5.0 - Connectivity and Accessisibility Within the City has a few strategies to manage traffic within the city centre.

But do we have to wait untill 2020 to see improvement in the city's traffic? By that time all of us would have grown old with all the time wasted while stuck in traffic. Rome was not built in a day and to achieve Item 5.0, City Hall has to work on it gradually; don't expect miracles to happen overnight. As it is city folks have been waiting forever for City Hall to do something about the traffic and now that the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020 is in the works, it bears hope for all of us.

I just hope that the plan will be implemented throughly and not be another case of NATO (No Action Talk Only).

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