Johor Bahru traffic jam is getting worse, say residents, travellers, Latest World News - The New Paper

Johor Bahru traffic jam is getting worse, say residents, travellers

JOHOR BAHRU - The traffic situation in Johor Bahru has not changed much, despite multiple reassurances from the state and federal governments that the issue will be addressed

In fact, Johor Bahru residents and travellers are seeing a worsening of the congestion, with roads such as Jalan Stulang Laut and Jalan Tebrau in the city also affected by the bottleneck coming from the town area and the Causeway.

State works, transportation and infrastructure committee chairman Mohamad Fazli Mohamad Salleh said among proposals the state government had come out with was to set up a task force.

“Apart from high impact projects such as the Johor Baru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link and the Gemas-Johor Baru Electrified Double Track project, the development of new industrial areas such as Sedenak in Kulai have contributed to the worsening congestion in Johor Bahru,” he said.

Mr Fazli said during a state executive council meeting about two weeks ago, Menter Besar Onn Hafiz Ghazi proposed the setting up of a task force to look into the congestion problem, especially in areas with major infrastructure projects.

“Currently, we have a task force at the state level that focuses on addressing the congestion problem at the Causeway and Second Link, but we are now considering another task force for other areas around Johor Baru,” said Mr Fazli.

Mr Fazli had met with Transport Minister Anthony Loke on Tuesday to discuss the proposed task force involving both the federal and state governments.

“We proposed that the task force be jointly chaired by the Menteri Besar and the Transport Minister. We will also rope in other relevant ministries and departments, such as the Works Ministry and the local government.

“Loke said he will look into the proposal, including its scope to ensure it does not overlap with other existing agencies,” he added.

Meanwhile, Johor Bahru Business and Hawker Association president Roland Lim, who owns a coffee shop in town, said the congestion had affected the livelihoods of many.

“The ongoing construction of the RTS Link is taking up a significant portion of the road, and this has made the congestion worse, especially during holidays.

“People are now opting to not come to town and this has affected many businesses in the area, including mine. On top of that, there are irresponsible motorists who still park illegally by the roadside, and this has further worsened the situation,” he said.

Entrepreneur Engku Puteri Irna Maisara Ungku Mokhsin, 33, said the congestion in the town had expanded to other areas such as Stulang Laut, where she lives.

“People are using alternative roads to avoid the congestion in the town and this has worsened the traffic situation in other areas.

“I had to face an hour-long traffic almost daily to send my daughter to her school in Jalan Yahya Awal, which is only about 5km from my house,” she said.

Apart from the RTS Link project, construction works in other areas such as near the R&F Mall also contribute to the bottleneck, she said.

“Although there are traffic police at times, they don’t seem to be able to manage the congestion, and the situation is especially bad when there are holidays in Singapore as more vehicles will come into Johor,” she said.

Among proposals the state government had come out with was to set up a task force. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Johor Tourist Guides Association chairman Jimmy Leong said the Tebrau road had been significantly affected by the congestion spilling from the town area.

“We have to really monitor the traffic situation in Johor Bahru these days to avoid wasting time.

“Apart from the ongoing construction, the lack of parking in town is also contributing to the congestion as motorists have to make a few rounds around town before they can find a parking spot,” he said. - THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK