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Call for overhead bridge at 1Borneo

by Ripin Mintow. Posted on December 10, 2010, Friday

KOTA KINABALU: The public have called for the construction of an overhead pedestrian bridge across Jalan Sulaman, at the I Borneo Hypermall.

A number of concerned citizens called up the Borneo Post’s Public Hotline yesterday to express regrets ove the death of an elderly Korean tourist who was knocked down by car while crossing the road from Alamesra to 1Borneo Hypermall around 8am on Wednesday.

Chu Chong Duk, 83, who arrived in Sabah on Dec 6 for a holiday here, was hit by a Proton Saga car, driven by a 53-year-old local man who was heading to the city centre from Sepanggar.

Due to the impact, Chu’s body was thrown about five metres away before landing on the side of the dual carriageway. He died on the spot from severe head and body injuries.

Many of those who called the Public Hotline regretted that the tourist’s death was another avoidable fatal accident involving a pedestrian in the area.

They said the road in front of the hypermall is an accident-prone area, as police statistics show several deaths and many injuries had occurred there over the past one year.

They were perplexed as to why no concrete action has been taken by the authority concerned to build an overhead pedestrian bridge there despite the warning from the police early this year that more road deaths would occur involving pedestrians crossing the road.

According to Malaysian Institute of Architects (PAM) Sabah Chapter, their representatives along with the other engineering bodies such as the IEM, ACEM and the Public Works Department’s Traffic Section are members in the City Hall’s High Risk and Traffic Committee (HRTC) that deals with the approval of such traffic studies for development projects.

PAM Sabah chairman Ho Jia Lit said the HRTC had for the past years recommended the construction of an overhead pedestrian bridge from Alamersa’s side to the 1Borneo shopping complex as one of the conditions for the issuance of Occupation Certificate.

An overhead bridge will enable service staff or workers and any visitors who use vehicle or bus services and who live north of Jalan Sulaman UMS (that is Sepangar areas) to have a safe alternative when crossing Sulaman Highway to get to 1Borneo shopping complex after alighting from buses or from Alamersa, he said when contacted for his comments yesterday.

It is learnt that during one of the HRTC meetings in the City Hall, representatives from 1Borneo cited two reasons for their objection to the construction of an overhead pedestrian bridge.

Firstly, the overhead bridge would be unsightly and blocking the main front view of 1Borneo and secondly, the need to wait for Alamesra developers to develop and complete their proposed shopping complex on the vacant land right in front or across 1Borneo development site and asked for Alamesra developers to jointly contribute to the cost of constructing the bridge.

The 1Borneo developers had proposed as an alternative to the overhead bridge to install traffic lights in front of 1Borneo to stop the traffic from both ways and allow pedestrians to cross.

However, after discussions, all the HRTC committee members had recommended that the construction of an overhead pedestrian bridge was vital in saving lives and be made a condition for the issuance of OC.

The other condition recommended by HRTC for the OC issuance was the construction of an elevated U-Turn flyover further north of 1Borneo.

The proposed U-Turn flyover is for traffic from 1Borneo to return to Kota Kinabalu without having a traffic light to stop all vehicles heading to the city just so that traffic from 1Borneo can make a U-Turn back towards the city.


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