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Sunday, 2-Aug-2009 12:00
STREETS OF KOTA BHARU : A Whole New Driving Experience !


A Whole New Driving Experience !

This goes to all out there ....

... especially to ' overseas ' Kelantanese, non-Kota Bharu residents Kelantanese, non-Kelantanese and also extraterrestrial beings,

who are planning to drive through the town of Kota Bharu from August 2009.

( be it a Ramadhan escape, or Balik Raya trip, or just .. whatever ! )

Beginning 11 August 2009, a very significant traffic flow makeover will take place in Kota Bharu, affecting several major ' arteries ' which run through the heart of the town.

The following map, derived from MPKBBRI's official website, explains further.

A click on the map will direct you to the whole story :

* Kota Bharu's New Traffic Flow Map, as taken from MPKBBRI's official website

For the note, ' traffic light ' icon in light blue ( turquoise ? ) shows existing, currently in
operation traffic lights while the one in dark blue, are the additional, new ones soon
to be set up following the traffic makeover.

Oh, and the black one indicates soon to be removed, existing traffic light.

Interesting ...

While New York City is closing the traffic lanes through http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Times_Square#Times_Square_today(its iconic Times Square and turning them into pedestrian plaza), Kota Bharu is opening up its own version of pedestrian plaza, the one located between Jalan Temenggong and Jalan Doktor / Parit Dalam, for cars to pass through.

The ' plaza' itself is formerly a part of Jalan Tok Hakim which used to stretch from the very edge of Kelantan River ( next to present day Hotel Grand Riverview ) all the way up to the intersection of Jalan Padang Garong and Jalan Doktor / Parit Dalam. It was closed to traffic some 20 years ago and was turned into a pedestrian path, equipped with kiosks and rest pavilions - later known as Dataran MPKB.

I could still vividly remember, as an innocent child who loved to place his forehead against the windows of his mom's http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1980_seat_131.jpg(Fiat 131 SuperMirafiori), that the last time I travelled down the road ( in mommy's car ), was when the roadside Hajah Halimah's Murtabak, Satay Razak, Mississippi Fried Chicken, Beng Huat Mini Market and Ichiban Karaoke were still operating ! Ha ha ha ha ...

( oh, and also when Pasar Malam Parit Dalam was still there, glittering and very lively .. )

Well, I don't know what drivers then truly felt about it ( I was not one yet ) but I grew up finding it helpful, knowing for sure that the move was much appreciated by the pedestrians. People, especially those going to and coming from the Stesen Bas Kota Bharu, could walk the distance safely between Pasar Besar Kota Bharu ( Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah as it was known then ) and the shops of Jalan Padang Garong, Jalan Dato' Pati and Jalan Hilir Pasar, with less chance and worry of being hit by motorised vehicles.

While I am always in favour of having a 'pedestrian plazas' in the heart of Kota Bharu, my views on the closed Jalan Tok Hakim started to change with the ever increasing traffic issues of Kota Bharu. To add things worse, the pedestrian plaza fell into a somewhat neglected condition, broken tiles left unreplaced, poorly maintained kiosks and pavilions which slowly turning it into a public eyesore. The reopening is indeed a good move, comes at the right time.

As for the whole thing, I am not sure whether they are going to be permanent or just some kind of traffic study or maybe a trial of some sort ( like the Times Square's case ). I have this strong feeling, by looking at those newly made ' grooves ' in the middle of the streets where lamp poles and road dividers used to be, that the former is more likely.

One thing for sure, when it is successfully implemented, the traffic flow will be nothing like before. Some main two way streets will turn into a much wider one way, while some existing one way streets will be made to flow from the opposite direction. There will be new sights to behold and old sights to be missed. Driving through Kota Bharu is surely going to be a whole new, perhaps also, a strange experience to most people ...

Whether the outcome be good or otherwise, things are still early to foresee.

Only one thing that could be totally certain of.

After this coming 11 August 2009,

I will be " seeing " Kota Bharu like never before .....


* Kota Bharu's New Traffic Flow Map. From an MPKBBRI's handout.

To help my dear readers see through this makeover, I did some minor adjustments to
the original map by adding yellow ' highlighting ' marker and numbers ( figures in red )
to associate each street shown on the map with photos of each affected street, which
I managed to snap and posted here.

Here are some of those shots :

* Jalan Gajah Mati

( soon, a four lanes one way, towards the Gajah Mati traffic light )

* Jalan Hospital

( soon, a four lanes one way, towards the roundabout )

* Jalan Tok Hakim

( soon, a four lanes one way, towards Padang Garong. Notice that the Dataran MPKB
is no more, currently being turned back into what it was 20 years ago ... )

* Jalan Padang Garong

( soon, a four lanes one way, towards the Jalan Mahmood traffic light )

* Jalan Doktor

( soon, a two lanes one way, towards Jalan Parit Dalam )

* Jalan Pintu Pong

( soon, a two lanes one way, towards Pasar Siti Khadijah )

* Jalan Temenggong

( a four lanes one way to be, towards Istana Balai Besar. Notice the removed divider )

* Jalan Buluh Kubu

( soon, a two / four lanes one way, towards KBTC )

Oh, by the way ...

the billboard seen on the building, straight ahead is an advert for iPhone3G service by Maxis.

When enlarged, you got this :

* iPhone3G Advert in Jawi

Billboard ads in Jawi. A common sight in Kota Bharu ...

( why on Earth didn't they put the word ' iPhone ' in Jawi ?? Arghh ! )



Peniaga gembira Jalan Tok Hakim dibuka semula

KOTA BHARU 20 Julai - Para peniaga di sekitar Jalan Tok Hakim di sini menyambut
baik langkah pihak berkuasa untuk membuka semula jalan berkenaan pada
pertengahan bulan depan.

Menurut mereka, langkah itu bukan sahaja merancakkan perniagaan yang malap
sekian lama, malah membantu mengurangkan masalah kesesakan di pusat bandar
terutama di sekitar Pasar Besar Siti Khadijah.


Sementara itu, Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Kerajaan Tempatan, Pelancongan dan
Kebudayaan, Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan ketika dihubungi berkata, pembinaan jalan
tersebut sedang rancak dilakukan dan berharap ia akan dibuka menjelang hari raya.

''Buat masa ini pembinaan sedang dijalankan, cuma kita berharap kontraktor yang
terlibat dapat mempercepatkan kerja-kerja yang dilakukan termasuk membuka pagar
berhampiran Pusat Dagangan Kota Bharu (PDKB),'' katanya.

Selain pembukaan semula jalan itu, bagi melancarkan lagi aliran trafik beberapa
perubahan akan dibuat iaitu Jalan Hospital dari lampu isyarat menuju ke Bulatan Tuan
Padang akan ditukar daripada dua hala kepada sehala.

''Jalan Temenggong turut dijadikan jalan sehala menghala lampu isyarat Jalan Tok

"Selain perubahan haluan lalu lintas ini, beberapa lampu isyarat baru akan dipasang
iaitu di Jalan Sultan Ibrahim menuju ke persimpangan Jalan Mahmood dan beberapa
lampu isyarat akan ditutup iaitu berhampiran Bazar Buluh Kubu dan lampu isyarat Jalan
Hospital berhadapan dengan mahkamah," katanya.

' http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/info.asp?y=2009&dt=0721&pub=Utusan_Malaysia&sec=Timur&pg=wt_04.htm(Peniaga gembira Jalan Tok Hakim dibuka semula) ' - Utusan Online, Timur, 21 Julai 2009

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