BY VIJENTHI NAIR
Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) residents are divided over the proposed pedestrian linkway connecting the neighbourhood and the 1Utama MRT Station across the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP).
Yes to linkway
Former RA chairman Liew Khooi Cheng, who initially objected to the plan, said maybe there were more merits to the project.
“It will be a valuable link from TTDI to 1Utama, as TTDI residents will then have easy access to the mall and MRT station.
“Certain projects may not turn out to be as bad as we initially imagined,” he said.
Another resident, Yahya Talla, whose house is facing the MRT line, is also for the pedestrian linkway.
“We should try to view the intention of the authorities positively.
“The proposal must be reviewed objectively to make an informed decision for the overall benefit of TTDI as a community and not for specific groups, to ensure that TTDI will not be the losers in the longer term,” he said.
Marvin Foong, who also lives in the area, agrees to the linkway.
“I want easy access to the MRT and to avoid driving,” he said.
No to linkway
“We have conducted a survey and as far as we are concerned, the residents are against the project,” said TTDI Residents Association chairman (TTDIRA) Mohd Hatim Abdullah.
“TTDIRA has 1,700 members and we represent the whole of TTDI.
“With the connectivity, more people will have access into the neighbourhood causing underlying problems like illegal hawkers, littering and crime.
“Why would TTDI residents need to use the 1Utama MRT station when there is a TTDI MRT station nearby, too,” he said.
TTDI resident Vernon Adrian Emuang said the support facilities were inadequate to prevent traffic congestion.
“I am against it because it has been badly planned.
“We need to stand up to shortsighted urban planning,” he said.
Bandar Utama resident Pauline Lee was worried TTDI would be like the area opposite the Kelana Jaya LRT station.
“The neighbourhood on the other side of the bridge is pretty scary at night. If Malaysia had a more efficient crime prevention enforcement, perhaps the TTDI residents’ sentiments might be different.
Another issue raised by the residents in support of the pedestrian linkway was that the TTDIRA website only collected petitions to object.
StarMetro reported on July 9 that MRT Corp agreed to follow the majority decision from TTDI residents and TTDIRA would be collecting the views, but some residents found that the TTDIRA website only had an objection form.
TTDI resident Susan Tam said she was disappointed that there was no objective way of recording the public’s view about it.
“I am all for a safe way to cross the busy roads to use the train but we want better planning and coordination with local authorities and police to penalise illegal parking and hawkers,” she said.
Hatim explained the reason behind this, “We are submitting a petition and not a survey, hence would only collect objections to the pedestrian linkway.”
“In the press release by MRT Corp, it was stated that various parties are also in favour of the pedestrian linkway, so MRT Corp should prove it to us by conducting a survey.
“If MRT Corp can come up with a larger number than us, then the majority wins.”
MRT Corp’s solution
MRT Corp strategic communications and public relations director Amir Mahmood Razak said the decision would be made based on the households’ votes.
“We welcome the petition and rest assured, votes that come after Aug 31 will be accepted too.
“Every house has one vote and if TTDIRA can get more than half or 3,250 votes against the pedestrian linkway, then we will cancel the proposal,” he said.
“The TTDI MRT station sits on the median of Jalan Damansara/Sprint Highway and serves both TTDI and Damansara Kim.
“The 1Utama MRT station is directly across the Burhanuddin Helmi area of TTDI. Building a link would benefit the residents of that side of TTDI,” he added.
However, Amir said the design has not been finalised but will cut across LDP and then proceed on to Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi 2 near the Telekom Building.