KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — An experiment to close Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (JTAR) which was implemented from today did not adversely affect the number of visitors to the area which is the focus of city folks to shop.
A Bernama survey found that, despite the closure from Jalan Esfahan near the Sogo shopping complex to Jalan Melayu, hundreds of visitors still spent time with their families to buy personal effects such as shirts, pants, scarfs and others.
Several Kuala Lumpur City Hall (KLCH) enforcement officers were seen monitoring a junction before entering the road to ease the congestion in front of Sogo.
Nevertheless, most of the visitors met, lauded the closure of the road to private vehicles in the government’s effort to make JTAR pedestrian-friendly.
A housewife, Norzalilah Dza’bar, 32, with two children from Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, told Bernama it was a very good move to ensure comfort and safety to pedestrians visiting JTAR.
A private sector worker, Ahmad Nazreen Rahman, 27, said the initiative was seen as able to encourage the public to use public transportation such as the GoKL Bus to facilitate their travel.
For a Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) student, Leow Hui Qing, 19, said the government’s plan to close the road on Saturday, Sunday and the public holidays in April was a very good attempt phase and could turn JTAR into a more orderly shopping centre.
‘‘However, I feel the authorities concerned must provide special parking lots for private car drivers nearby,’’ said the Diploma in Town and Regional Planning student.
Meanwhile, a textile trader in JTAR who wanted to be identified as Anati, 39, said the closure of the road did not affect her business.
In March, Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad was reported as saying the plan to turn JTAR into a pedestrian area would be experimented in stages every Saturday, Sunday and public holidays in April.
He said during the period only buses, taxis, police, fire and rescue department, ambulances and enforcement vehicles were allowed to use JTAR.
The closure was from 8am to 12 midnight. — Bernama