GEORGETOWN, Feb 17 – There are more than 2.4 million motor vehicles were registered in Penang at the moment, compared with nearly 1.7 million population. Each year, more than 100,000 vehicles were registered in the State of Penang and cars only contribute to approximately 50% of this registration.
An annual growth of vehicle in Penang is approximately 5% to 6% compared with the population growth of approximately 2% per year. This means that the streets in Penang must accommodate the volume of traffic flow and higher every year. Therefore, continuous action should be taken by the State Government and MPPP to address the problem of traffic congestion in the short, medium and long term.
The approach taken by the State Government in this case is to proceed with construction projects of roads and the shortcut key (by-pass); and at the same time promote and increase the use of public transport. All this will be realized through an open tender and Request for Proposal Public Transport Master Plan of RM27 billion has been and will be called by the State Government and MPPP.
While projects implemented over the medium and long term, the State Government and MPPP seek to address traffic problems by implementing interim measures such as widening and upgrading of roads and perform a one-way system. In addition, the measures taken to increase the use of public transport taken as the provision of Bas Central Area Transit (CAT Bus) and Bridge Express Shuttle Transit (BEST).
Cooperation and assistance is also given to public transport operators to improve their services. Project Road Widening and Upgrading Part of Bagan Jermal Road and Mount Erskine Road is one of the interim term projects that have been implemented by MPPP to reduce traffic congestion.
Bagan Jermal Road and Mount Erskine Road is important arterial roads that accommodate the volume of traffic flow is very high every day. Both these roads connected to the intersection of Burma Road / Gottlieb Road / Bagan Jermal Road / Mount Erskine Road are experiencing congestion during peak hours of traffic.
This intersection only accommodate more than 50,000 vehicles per day. This project was initiated on 15 April 2014 and was completed ahead of schedule completions, dated on 28 February 2015. It also involves the acquisition of a portion of land on Lot 2849, Mount Erskine Road that belonging to the Association of Kwangtung & Tengchow which was completed at the end of 2014.
Road widening work was carried out as soon as possible to allow additional lanes opened before the Chinese New Year Celebration to relieve traffic congestion. The total cost of this project is RM2.426 million, RM1.408 million for construction work and RM1.018 million for land acquisition. The main features of Project Road Widening and Upgrading Part of Bagan Jermal Road and Mount Erskine Road is: –
- Adding one lane of traffic in Bagan Jermal Road along 330 meters to a special lane provided at Bagan Jermal Road to swerve left into Burma Road;
- Adding one lane of traffic on Mount Erskine Road along 120 meters of Gottlieb Road to allow vehicles to turn left on to Gottlieb Road to Mount Erskine Road without stopping;
- Widening a section 0f 105 meters along the Burma Road;
- Installation of pedestrian traffic light at Bagan Jermal Road opposite St. Nicholas’ Home;
- Upgrading pedestrian walkways; and
- Upgrading drainage system.
It is anticipated that this project will reduce traffic congestion by 15% in Bagan Jermal Road and Gottlieb Road and improve the efficiency of the intersection signal control of Burma Road / Gottlieb Road / Bagan Jermal Road / Mount Erskine Road by 10% again.
State Government and MPPP to implement projects for widening and upgrading of roads continued to reduce traffic congestion. Some widening and upgrading of the road project executed simultaneously at a time to ensure that traffic problems are handled promptly.
In 2015, MPPP has allocated RM69.0 million for the study and implementation of construction projects, road widening and upgrading. Announcements will be made in stages Regarding the implementation of the projects involved are to be made through open tender. This shows the concern, dedication and commitment of the State and MPPP for the traffic problems faced by the population.