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KL to have covered walkways

PUTRAJAYA: Kuala Lumpur will be adding a network of covered walkways to its landscape starting with the walkway connecting Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) and the nearby Bukit Bintang commercial district.

The Ministry of Federal Territories and Urban Well-being is planning an extensive network of walkways to be built by private developers so that all buildings in the city centre will be connected by walkways in the future. Its minister Datuk Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin noted that the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is coming up with the plans and for a start Petronas would allocate about RM100 million to build the covered walkways around KLCC.

By making the city centre more pedestrian-friendly, he hoped that the proposed walkways would help reduce the number of cars on the road.

He pointed out that countries like Hong Kong has covered walkways and they have proven to be effective in encouraging more pedestrian traffic.

"Citizens in other big cities prefer to walk. But here things are different partly because of the sun and the rain but the attitudes will change when there are comfortable covered walkway with fans for example," he said during an
exclusive interview with Bernama. In future, the Ministry will stipulate that developers provide covered walkways in their development plan.

Meanwhile in Putrajaya, efforts are being taken to overcome the shortage of parking space. For a start, a campaign to encourage the public to take the bus will be implemented along with Putrajaya Corporation's move to add 70 more public buses in stages.

Raja Nong Chik pointed out that according to Putrajaya's initial plan, 70 per cent of the people living there were supposed to use public transportation and the rest their own vehicle.

"I was informed that previously the parking spaces were meant for visitors only. But because the civil servants started using their own vehicles, now there is not only shortage of parking space but also traffic jams," he said .

He said currently the bus services provided for the public is under-utilised and even those using them in Putrajaya are foreigners."Not many are using them except the foreigners and it is sad that the public failed to appreciate the facility provided by the government," he said.

Raja Nong Chik said those living in Putrajaya prefer to use their own vehicles as there is no school bus service in the vicinity. To overcome this problem, Putrajaya Corporation is looking into the possibility of converting several of the existing buses into school buses.

Another of the facility that is not fully utilised in Putrajaya is the  "Park and Ride". The "Park & Ride" concept was introduced in Putrajaya in 2007 to overcome traffic congestion and the lack of parking spaces there. -- Bernama
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