KL mayor: Five roads, including Jalan Raja and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, to go car-free this year

Nor Hisham said plans to close off roads in the city to make them more friendly to pedestrians will be part of DBKL’s transport master plan. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Nor Hisham said plans to close off roads in the city to make them more friendly to pedestrians will be part of DBKL’s transport master plan. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — Kuala Lumpur will see at least 10 roads pedestrianised in five years’ time under a trial run, with at least five roads including Jalan Raja and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (TAR) to be impacted this year, the capital city’s mayor was reported saying.

Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan reportedly spoke of Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) plans to pedestrianise a few stretches of roads in the areas of Bangsar, Brickfields and Bukit Bintang.

“We will be revisiting Jalan TAR’s trial run that was suspended last year. Our vision is to see it connected to Jalan Raja until the intersection at Leboh Pasar Besar,” he was quoted telling local daily New Straits Times (NST).

He also said that the closing of these roads to vehicles would be based on the previous models used for the trial closures at Jalan Masjid India and Jalan TAR, but noted that this plan is currently being studied and that details have yet to be finalised.

According to the NST, the city mayor did not disclose if the road closures would only involve certain stretches or the full length of the roads, while the nature of the road closures including whether they are to be closed only on weekends was reportedly still undecided.

When asked if taxis and e-hailing vehicles could use these roads, as was done during Jalan TAR’s trial run, the mayor said this required study before a decision can be made.

He said there would be awareness campaigns and public engagement and consultations to facilitate the trial run to close off city roads, noting that this plan was needed amid the growing number of cars on city roads, with Kuala Lumpur’s daytime population of three million people and the resulting traffic congestion.

In speaking of his vision for Kuala Lumpur’s future, the mayor noted that such road closures had been implemented successfully in other countries such as neighbouring Singapore, citing the semi-pedestrianised Arab Street and Haji Lane and Portobello Road in London.

The mayor said the plans to close off roads in the city to make them more friendly to pedestrians will be part of DBKL’s transport master plan due to be completed this year, the paper reported.

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