KUALA LUMPUR: The decision to close Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (Jalan TAR) to traffic will only be finalised after a meeting with the traders there next week, according to Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).
KL Mayor Datuk Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan said Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad would meet business operators at the popular shopping spot to get their feedback on the matter.
His statement came in light of protests from traders, who claimed their livelihoods would be affected as they were not given sufficient notice of the road closure.
“The minister will visit the location next week to meet the traders. We will take into account their opinions, and that of other stakeholders. The final decision will be up to the minister.
“We will also discuss with the relevant lawmakers, including the Bukit Bintang MP,” he said, referring to Fong Kui Lun, who yesterday said he foresaw “a big mess” if DBKL went ahead with the 1-km road closure set to take effect on March 15.
On Feb 13, Khalid announced that the road closure to all vehicles, except for buses, was necessary to allow the public and mainly shoppers to carry out their businesses and other activities without having to deal with the constant traffic in the area.
Nor Hisham had also previously, commenting on potential backlash from traders, said he was willing to be the ‘bad guy’ in his bid to reduce the number of cars coming into the city centre through the road closure action.
He was speaking to reporters after the launch of the 1.7-km Old Klang Road-New Pantai Expressway (OKR-NPE) link bridge, here today.
The bridge, which was opened to the public in November 2018, aims to ease traffic flow on Old Klang Road, offering an alternative route for traffic from the area to Subang, Klang, Petaling Jaya and Bangsar, as well as reducing travelling distance from Pantai Dalam.
Present to launch the link bridge was Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok, who is also the Seputeh MP.
Meanwhile, Nor Hisham said a month-long survey conducted by DBKL beginning Feb 11 to gauge public approval of the road closure has garnered close to 4,000 respondents to date, with the majority being in favour.
“Close to 65% of them agree that the road should be closed to vehicles. So for us in DBKL, we accept any criticism, particularly from the traders. This, after all, is part and parcel of making KL a better place,” he added.