Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hotel plan gives PJ folk the blues

PETALING JAYA residents are fuming over a proposed development of a 19-storey hotel along Jalan Utara which will aggravate the traffic chaos in the area.
The site is located between an ongoing commercial development and the SMK Bukit Bintang, at the junction of Jalan Utara and Jalan Semangat.
Residents in the area got to know about the development when a signboard was put up at the currently vacant land, informing the public about the proposed development and giving them until Nov 3 to submit their objection.
The sign states the proposed development would be a 19-storey hotel built on top of three levels of basement and one level of semi-basement carpark.
High traffic volume: PJ residents say the proposed hotel plan (on the left) along Jalan Utara will only add to the congestion in the area.
Section 12 Residents Association chairman R. Rajasoorian said that the area was already overdeveloped and building a hotel there would make matters worse.
“That stretch is going to be a mess and the hotel is going to be located right at the T-junction. Traffic is already bad now without the hotel,” he said.
He added that besides the secondary school (SMK Bukit Bintang), there was also the SK Sri Petaling primary school across the road.
All Petaling Jaya Residents Association (Apac) chairman Liew Wei Beng said that he was concerned about the density of the developments in the area.
He said that there was also a church next to the Tun Hussein Onn Eye Hospital which would also add to the congestion.
“Once the high-density commercial blocks are ready, the traffic impact would be mind-boggling,” he said.
He said that an existing hotel down the road has already proven to create traffic problems when there were big functions and cars would be double-parked along the road.
He echoed Rajasoorian’s concern over the hotel’s proximity to the schools.
“I’m not sure if its advisable to have a hotel next to a school,” said Liew.
A spokesperson for Malton Berhad, who submitted the proposal to the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), said that they have addressed the traffic problems in the area.
“A traffic impact assessment (TIA) has been done and the impact from the hotel would be minimal.
“It’s a mid-ranged hotel that would cater to the short- and mid-term stays of the business people from the offices around the area, so we are not expecting a high volume of traffic. There would be no big function rooms in the hotel,” he said.
He said that as part of the council’s requirement to build the commercial development, they would widen a stretch of Jalan Utara starting from the Jalan Semangat junction.
“We would be adding an extra lane on both sides of Jalan Utara,” he said.
Rajasoorian also expressed his disappointment at the then Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) councillors who approved the commercial project without residents’ knowledge.
“If the present council under the current state government closes an eye to the problems we are facing here, we would be back to square one,” said Rajasoorian.

Source : STAR
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