SMC mulls solution to traffic congestion at Jln Ulu Sungai Merah

Wong (right) suggests to Ting on how to improve the traffic congestion at Jalan Ulu Sungai Merah.

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SIBU, Feb 21: Jalan Ulu Sungai Merah will be upgraded into a dual carriageway to ease traffic congestion in the area.

Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) said the decision took into account the request of local residents, who voiced out that the construction of a traffic light intersection at the Jalan Ulu Sungai Merah-Jalan Ling Kai Cheng would worsen traffic.

Pelawan assemblyman David Wong said the local community claimed that unless the road is turned into a dual carriageway, the traffic congestion problem will never be solved.

SMC chairman Clarence Ting who visited the site with Wong today, warned that the widening of the road would not solve the congestion problem unless there is a passageway at the inner part of the road.

“I want to tell everybody that we can have dual carriageway, four lanes or even five lanes on each sides. It is no use, as it won’t solve the problem because the inner part of the road is a dead end,” he said.

Construction of the traffic light intersection in progress.

Ting said there was an immediate need to build a new road at the inner part of Jalan Sungai Merah to link it to other roads as an escape route.

“I hope that the authority concern would consider to build this new road as soon as possible,” he said.

As a temporary measure to ease traffic congestion, he said the council would be opening up space in front of SMK Ulu Sungai Merah and SJK Nang Sang for parents to drop or pick up their children.

“The principal of SMK Ulu Sungai Merah came to see me recently to voice out the congestion issue.

“The school has 1,200 students. I told her to reduce the number of students to 700 in order to alleviate the traffic congestion problem but of course this is not possible, as the population in the area is increasing due to new housing project,” he said.

On the construction of the traffic light intersection, Ting said the project was approved by the previous administration. He took over the helm of the council in September last year.

On Wong’s presence at the site inspection, Ting said it has nothing to do with politics but on how to serve and improve the situation of the people.

Wong concurred with Ting, saying that the traffic congestion there was a people’s issue.

“Parents sending their children to school have to wake up at 5am every morning due to the traffic congestion. When a car breaks down, traffic is almost at stand still,” he said. — DayakDaily