Friday, June 17, 2016

LRT3 and Bandar Utama

There is going to be a LRT line connecting Bandar Utama to Klang. It's aptly named LRT3. The first station is in Bandar Utama, beside the current MRT station opposite TV3. It then turn into Kayu Ara before the Shell Bandar Utama station along the Damasara river, having a second station to serve Damansara Utama residents. Then it come out of Sprint Highway and supposedly have a 3rd station, called Tropicana station in Merchant Sq.

However, recently, they decided to relocate the Tropican station from Merchant Square nearer towards the Lebuh Bandar Utama bridge.

This was the original location of Tropicana Station:

I am a bit puzzled of the new alignment Tropicana station. It was originally proposed to be put near Merchant Square, which is a commercial area very near Tropicana, BU11, BU12 and Bayu Puteri apartments. If you enter into NKVE using Damansara Toll, Merchant Square is to the left of you as you turn into left towards Subang Jaya/Klang and KLIA.

Consider this map, taking directly from lrt3.com.my

You will notice that the LRT line will come from Bandar Utama along Kayu Ara and then become parallel with Sprint Highway. As it passed Petron petrol station opposite the Boulevard commercial shops, it cut across the road at the point near the current burnt down furniture shop. Once across the road, it will elevate itself because the LRT line need to go above the Lebuh Bandar Utama bridge (aka the Sony bridge) towards NKVE. This also implies that this station will be elevated, as high as the line, higher than the bridge and Lebuh Bandar Utama.

What puzzles me is the location of this station. Why did they move it from Merchant Square to near the bridge? 

There are a lot of space between the bridge to merchant square and I believe this space will be used to build a multi level parking to support the station. However, why do the station have to be on the right side of the empty space, near the bridge, instead of on the right side of the empty space, near Merchant Square. I would think that putting near Merchant Square not only will serve the commercial area, but it will also serve residents in Bayu Puteri Apartment, Pangsapuri Damai, which are more densely populated and transport and parking has always been an issue to them.

And so, the only reason that they are putting on the left side, near the bridge, is to serve the BU11 and BU12 residents. I mean, why else would it be? And here in lies another puzzle. The station is going to be elevated. Are they going to build a pedestrian bridge to connect to Lebuh Bandar Utama? If they are, then this poor bridge is going to be even congested because of cars picking and dropping passenger. At this moment, this 4 lane bridge are facing huge congestion every morning due to the bottleneck at the bridge. I doubt they will be able to add another lane, because it’s a bridge and it’s going to cost a ton of money to add another lane just for cars to pick up and drop passengers.

Assuming the above does not make sense, then the road to the station where cars can drop/pick up passenger has to be using the current Jalan Tropicana Selatan 1 road, parallel to Sprint Highway. This is highly probable. Jalan Tropicana Selatan 1 is not a busy road. It runs in parallel to Sprint Highway and people use this road to go into Tropicana Golf course. This road can be widen enough for cars to drop and pick up passengers. If this is the case, then, why put the station near the bridge instead of near Merchant Square? There is more reasons for the stations to be near a commercial area.
The other funny thing about this station is that assuming Jalan Tropicana Selatan 1 is used to come to the station whether to park or pick up, how will the cars go back into Bandar Utama or Damansara? This road is parallel to Sprint Highway with a toll station beside it. There is no way for cars to U turn into the highway back to Damansara. They have to go along the Tropicana Selatan 1 road, into the housing area, pass by BU 11 and BU 12 and then back to the bridge! This is again going to put a lot of pressue on the current existing road infrastructure.

I wish the authority made more clarification on this. Their website is shitty as it does not show anything except stations and some mumbo jumbo about why LRT3 will benefits people.

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