For Malaysians who commute to work on public transport, many can quickly attest to the fact that our country has still quite a ways to go before we can truly be considered pedestrian-friendly. With lackluster last-mile connectivity and infrastructure design that puts heavier emphasis on the convenience of road vehicles as opposed to those walking on foot, many have had to risk their own personal safety when getting from one point to another.
Malaysian netizen shares her risky commute to Pusat Bandar Damansara MRT station
Among those include local netizen Ms Azimah, who took to Twitter to share how dangerous her commute is on foot to reach the Pusat Bandar Damansara MRT station. Raising concerns over the obvious lack of pedestrian-friendly amenities in the city, she points out that she and other commuters have to hug close to the walls of the Damansara Link highway along Jalan Johar to avoid running into traffic.
In a video that was attached with her Tweet, she demonstrates part of the journey in getting to the MRT station on foot, showing how vehicles would narrowly miss them and breeze past on their right as they walked.
“Look at how pedestrian-friendly Malaysia is. Babe, if I stumble just slightly, babe I’d get knocked down. They can make the MRT this long, but they can’t build a proper pathway.”
Acknowledges that buses are available, but they are often delayed
She adds that while she is aware that a free shuttle bus service has been provided by the construction company currently obstructing much of the roadways in the area for the convenience of pedestrians heading to the MRT station from nearby offices, Azimah points out that not everybody has the luxury of time to wait for one to arrive.
“But not all can wait for the bus when it does not come every 3 to 5 minutes. MRT [station] itself is just 5 to 10 minutes away from our office so why we do not have a proper pedestrian walk?” she asked.
In fact, she claims that taking a bus to the MRT station could sometimes take anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the traffic.
“They can put cones there to differentiate the pedestrian walk and the road, actually. For me, that would already feel more secure.”
With that said, Azimah says she doesn’t blame shuttle drivers for the bus delays as they are also trying to make it on time and have no control over the traffic. She adds that prior to this, walking to the Pusat Bandar Damansara MRT station was moderately safer despite lacking a proper walkway, until that path was closed off.
In speaking with WauPost, Azimah said that she has been walking to the MRT station via the main road since sometime in December of last year when the previous route that many had been using was sealed off, and adds that other commuters have had to do the same as well.
Her sentiments were echoed by another commuter who frequented the same route named Athirah, who pointed out that access to the nearest pedestrian bridge has also been sealed off, leaving those who want to walk to the station with no option but to brave the roads if they wish to skip the shuttle bus wait times.
I see replies criticising you to just use the shuttle / public bus provided but some of us don’t have the spare time to wait for 10-20 mins. And when there was a route, this was how dangerous it was! pic.twitter.com/XFk40MWwEb
— athirah (@athzln) February 20, 2023
Mixed opinions from other social media users
In response to her concerns, others argue that the developer has done due diligence by preparing a shuttle bus service for free to transport commuters between their offices to the MRT station, and Azimah would have to bear the burden of risk if she decided to travel on foot instead.
“For your information sis, the pedestrian bridge will be demolished. That’s why they implemented the shuttle bus service. You lot want to use shortcuts, but then make it sound like you’re forced to accept the circumstances. And then you want to blame the construction.”
“What’s most important is that that isn’t meant to be a pedestrian walkway, but a route you’re forced to take because you want to shorten your wait time for the bus. So, if anything happens, it’s on your own risk. Whatever the case it, may you all stay safe.”
Why on earth would you want to walk there? It isn’t meant to be a pedestrian walkway to begin with.”
Others suggested that the developer consider putting plastic road dividers to ensure that pedestrians can walk safely along that stretch.
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Also read: “It was very unsafe,” M’sian shares how dangerous a 1km journey from his office to his home can be for a pedestrian