Thursday, September 21, 2006

Report Card - Masjid Jamek LRT - interchange

This is a review of Masjid Jamek LRT station.

Traditionally, this was the perfect example of Malaysian Privatisation (piratisation I mean) which went wrong.

Two LRT stations meet at the banks of the Klang and Gombak rivers near Jalan Tun Perak. They are built quite close together, although not quite close enough!

Also, the elevated LRT station for the Sri Petaling / Ampang lines is a major cause of flash floods in KL of recent years. The station surrounds the Tun Perak bridge and its supporting structures have narrowed the embankment below. Nice.

But this widescale incompetence was further examplified when KL Monorail came into the picture. I have talked a little about it, and maybe I will talk more about it in the future!

Back to Masjid Jamek.

Silly signs
When you enter the Masjid Jamek LRT station to the Ampang and Sri Petaling lines, you are greeted by these silly signs. I thought that this station was called Masjid Jamek?



Maybe they meant TO Sri Petaling and Ampang, but they forgot. Still, do you know how confusing it will be for first-timers to KL?

Interchange There are two entrances and exits into each LRT stations, as there are two sides of the busy road (doh). I took loads of photos of the side of the station on the Puduraya bound side of Tun Perak. The other side (Raja Laut bound) is slightly better though.

To get from each station to the other, you have to walk down a set of stairs, then along a pavement, and then into the other station. In the picture below, the station on the right is that of the Kelana Jaya line.



There is this tiny covered cheap looking plastic roof that "connects" these two stations. In the picture below, the station on the left is that of the Ampang and Sri Petaling lines.



Now, when it rains, how are people supposed to squeeze through that tiny bumbung atap? The roof is too small for people to pass through. Even my school had better corridors. And can you imagine how slippery the steps will be in the rain?

Also at peak hours, an obstacle course appears:





I love markets and stalls. I love keropok lekor (and DVDs). But I don't like them in my way, when I am trying to rush back home. How about Bandaraya and Rapid KL giving these stalls a better place to sell their wares?

On the same side of the road, at the other way into the station, you see this.

We can see Bandaraya spending millions constructing that ugly looking cheap ass plastic roof near Masjid India, and yet, they can't spend a little bit more to help connect the stations. Sigh.





Crossing Tun Perak
Jalan Tun Perak is a busy road. Thank God the early planners built a tunnel to link both sides of the road, allowing access to the underground Kelana Jaya line station from either side of the road.

But the tunnel is long, and if you are already at street level, it is a long escalator ride down and up again, on our extra slow escalators. So the signalled pedestrian crossing is also a God-send, although it should be our RIGHT.

Traffic on Jalan Tun Perak is busy, and most of the time, it is bumper to bumper. So I find it even sillier why they have to signal the crossing? Why not just turn it into a pedestrian crossing, with blinking amber-lights, so that pedestrians can always cross?



Our drivers need to be trained to give pedestrians the right of way, especially in urban centres, where it would really not cost these drivers anything to let pedestrians pass, when after all traffic is bumper to bumper!

And another crazy thing that goes on here is cars parked and waiting illegally by the road.
Not only do they park on the zebra stripes these cars actually block up traffic along Jalan Tun Perak. In fact, I once saw a bank organize some promotion with them having some mini-golf competition along the road. WTF. I should have just called the cops.



Long Term Solutions

Ultimately, I'd propose that better links between those two stations would involve separating passenger traffice between those entering/leaving the station and those who want to switch lines. This would involve building more tunnels, elevators, escalators and walkways. And that's too much to ask for, given the mess in this area. So how about something more realistic then?

This is the view down from near the top of the Ampang / Sri Petaling Line station. At the far back, that kampung looking building was what used to be Bank Bumiputera.

In the middle, that's the Kelana Jaya Line subway entrance.

The huge beige roof in front is the entrance and ticket offices of the Ampang / Sri Petaling lines.

A gap of a couple of meters separate these two stations.




From inside the stations, this is how close they are.





Why not directly bridge these two stations together? Roof up the gaps between the stations, while at the same time improving pedestrian access in the area?

They can tear down the metal rails and the billboards, construct the bridge, build a (permanent, not plastic) roof, and install more ticket barriers on the bridge.

And start considering solving the problem of "starting fares".

2 Comments:

Anonymous MelbourneBoy said...

The gahmen has provided funds for upgrading the interchange facilities in Bandar Tasik Selatan and Gombak stations, but what about Masjid Jamek station. Maybe they cant even think of a way to make it better, provided they have screwed the area up! -sigh- I still couldnt think of a solution to streamline both Sripetaling/ampang line with Kelana Jaya Line without compromising the traffics there. can we divert the traffic somewhere else?

5:34 PM  
Anonymous shaun said...

Thanks for posting. The LRT station are connected by escalators and elevators. This trouble is at the main road, access by wheel chairs is not so friendly. Shaun Kwong - Home Elevator. http://www.elevatormalaysia.com

7:49 AM  

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