Effectiveness of converting roundabouts to traffic lights questioned

One of the roundabouts along the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway.

KUCHING: Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) Southern Zone director of election, Lue Cheng Hing, has questioned the effectiveness of converting the five roundabouts along the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway to traffic lights.

“It has been suggested that the upgrade is to convert the roundabouts to traffic lights, smart or conventional, how long can such mitigation last before another upgrade is necessary?” he questioned.

“Traffic lights, regardless if they are ‘smart’ or not, the element of waiting is still there.”

He pointed out that the underpasses implemented at the 3rd Mile roundabout near Timberland and around Emart Matang were not subjected to the waiting time of traffic lights.

“Such underpasses would have been effective and feasible to alleviate traffic congestion.”

He said the second preferred method to alleviate traffic along the Kuching-Samarahan Expressway would be combined traffic lights and flyovers.

He said not too long ago, the roundabout at 41/2 Mile, 6th Mile, and 7th Mile were upgraded to traffic lights, and now, in just a few years, another upgrade was implemented – a combination of flyover and traffic lights.

“This would allow more efficient use of taxpayers money. All relevant authorities should proactively study and implement projects that could live into a longer time frame.”

At the same time, he questioned why the project was fully funded by the state government.

“Is Kuching-Samarahan Expressway under the purview of the federal Public Works Department (JKR) (federal road) or is it under Sarawak JKR (state road)?

“If it is a federal road, why should Sarawak’s money be used for the upgrade? Sarawak’s money should be well spent on other infrastructure projects for the development of Sarawak.”

He also said the relevant authorities and agencies must take responsibility for project implementation with integrity and transparency, making such relevant information available to the public, including engineering implementation, construction blueprint, project tender sum, contractors, and so on.