Instead of helping, some road upgrades in Klang Valley have led to a decline or closure of previously thriving businesses, reported The Star.
For instance, businesses in an area between Jalan Imbi and Jalan Bukit Bintang languished after the intersection was converted into the Pudu Underpass, which opened in early-2015.
At least five shoplots are up for lease in the area, as the previous occupants, including a bookstore, restaurant and budget hotel have ceased operating there.
A staff for a photocopier, who wanted to be called Yat, revealed that their business has slumped by nearly 50 percent.
“It has become difficult for customers to access our shop. Motorists have nowhere to park their vehicles and pedestrians find it difficult to walk to our shop from the opposite side,” she said, adding that many accidents had occurred after the junction in front of their unit was transformed into a slip road for the underpass.
Similarly, business within the vicinity of the Loke Yew Roundabout are suffering. In fact, the famous Federal Bakery transferred to another area, while dozens of shops along Jalan Sungai Besi are struggling to attract clients after their entrances were barred by the roundabout’s slip roads.
After the road project has obstructed the frontage of these shops, the five-foot wide passageway of these shops are now littered with garbage and makes a good hangout spot for criminals and thugs.
Likewise, traders along a stretch in Jalan Pahang are struggling as there is no parking space after the Jalan Pahang was upgraded into a main road, resulting in the loss of the roadside parking bays.
“The (shop) lots are ‘dead’. Owners and tenants have tried various ways to keep their businesses afloat but to no avail,” said trader C.B. Kong, who is urging the authorities to construct a multi-storey carpark to address this issue.
According to Goh Bok Yen, a consultant for urban land planning and transportation management, these “unfortunate” consequence of road upgrades is due to insensitive infrastructure development where engineering solutions were prioritised, over the welfare of the businesses in the area.
“This kind of development – one that puts the wrong things at the wrong places – makes the people suffer. The macro level may provide better traffic flow for thousands of motorists, but you shouldn’t ignore the move’s impact on the micro level because it does affect the livelihood of the people working there.”
Image sourced from The Star
Radin Ghazali, Content Writer at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories email firstname.lastname@example.org