Penang taken to task over worsening traffic woes

The state government is not efficient in tackling traffic woes in Penang, especially on the mainland, claimed state Gerakan Environmental Bureau chief Tan Chai Liang.

“If anything, the so-called effort by the state government through its car-free day campaign and bicycle-riding programmes failed to counter the worsening traffic problems in Penang,” he said.

Describing such efforts as short-term measures, Tan said traffic congestion in Penang was at its worst at the Butterworth-Kulim Expressway (BKE) roundabout near the Seberang Jaya Hospital during peak hours.

He said that the merging of numerous lanes near the roundabout from the North-South Expressway (NSE), Penang Bridge and Free Trade Zone area as well as from Megamal Pinang or Pacific Hyperstore in Butterworth caused bottleneck traffic congestions daily from 3pm onwards until about 9pm.

“The problem has been there for years but the state government has done nothing about it, which clearly shows that it does not view the problem seriously.

“We have seen a lot of political shows, like state exco members taking public buses, but there is no real effort to solve the matter effectively,” Tan told a press conference at the state Gerakan headquarters yesterday.

He said that as short-term measures, the state government should get traffic police to guide and control traffic flow in the area besides closing other inlets during peak hours to ease the flow of the exit.

“This is to prevent a traffic pile-up on the NSE,” he said.

Tan also said the state government should consider building a flyover or a tunnel to replace the existing BKE roundabout.

He also warned that the traffic congestion on the Penang Bridge and PLUS highway would jeopardise efforts to develop the Batu Kawan area, as investors would be put off by the traffic congestion.

State Public Works, Utilities and Transportation Committee chairman Lim Hock Seng said that a proposal had been submitted by the state Public Works Department for a flyover to be built on the NSE (with the Seberang Jaya mosque on the left) leading to Kulim (near the Road Transport Department).

“The proposal is submitted yearly but it has always been rejected,” he said.

Lim added that the BKE roundabout is part of the Butterworth Outer Ring Road maintained by Lingkaran Luar Butterworth (Penang) Sdn Bhd which comes under the Malaysian Highway Authority under the purview of the Federal Government. - By Zalinah Noordin (The Star)


January 11, 2012 at 2:44 PMDr.

Why would anyone be complaining about traffic congestion in mainland when the real problem is in the island?

January 11, 2012 at 2:52 PMhk

the traffic congestion is the main issue, more houses and development, but lack of proper infrastructure to ease the traffic, only know how to add in more traffic lights to make the road more congested...PG government, pls do something...before the next election...

January 11, 2012 at 5:41 PMcondomana

Dear Dr.

Looks like you have not been to Seberang Jaya roundabout during peak hours. Population on the mainland has been increasing steadily over the years, while population on the island has been stagnant, if not shrinking over the years. Drive over to the mainland 6pm on a work day, just see for yourself the number of cars on the highway, and you would be shocked! If you ask me, the kind of traffic jam you have on the island is nothing compared to the REAL traffic jam you have in KL.

Having said that, I would agree with hk that a more efficient road management system is surely needed. Don't just add traffic lights, we've got to be smarter than that! Vote them out because of traffic woes?..Hehe...I wouldn't do that yet. There are more important issues to solve right now. We can't do everything at once, got to prioritize. Plus, you think Gerakan and the bunch of cronies got the brains to solve traffic issues? Got to place your bet smart my friend.

January 11, 2012 at 8:56 PMPentiuman

Yes. You are right. This bunch of jokers from Gerakan has been managing Penang for 39yrs & they can't solve this problem. Must be sore loserlah...

January 13, 2012 at 1:42 PMGwen

what did Gerakan do for PG ? there are so many hidden things that are just kept quiet as we just cant say out in public

January 16, 2012 at 6:48 PM陈升润

putting the blame on the state government will not solve the issue and neither is voting them out. Gerakan is voicing this because it is a fact but they forget that they ruled the state with this fact and now only they start to point it out.

Nonetheless, they are speaking the truth and it definitely needs to look into. I will still give the new blood government a chance or two afterall they previous government ruled for 40 years yet no result. The current government definitely deserve more time as they have a lot of other pressure to handle right now.

I'm a penangite and i'm proud to say that the government is doing everything they can and it's just a matter of time before this is resolve. Look at PCGHS school and they are now into widening the road. The past decade, that road is full of traffic during early morning school time and also after school and nothing being done by BN. I'd say i can see result from the current government and i'm proud i voted the right one.