The Jalan Tutong Jam

I saw a frustrated motorist commenting on HYS entitled "Tahniah Polis" - "Biskita telah membuat kerja yang baik sadaya upaya kan melancarkan perjalanan kereta di sapanjang jalan kilanas, tasek meradun bunut HARI INI. TAPI TIDAK BERJAYA BAIK PULANG KAMI PAKAI LAMPU SAJA. HARI ADALAH HARI PALING JEM BERMULA DARI KILANAS. SELALUNYA BERMULA HANYA DARI TASEK MERADUN TAPI HARI ANI POLIS ADA BERTUGAS DI TRAFIC LIGHT ANTARA BENGKURONG & TASEK MERADUN YANG MENGAKIBATKAN JEM YANG TERUK. SO POLIS INDA TAH PAYAH TAH MENAHAN KERITA LAGI CUKUP TAH PAKAI LAMPU SAJA."

Yes the jam was true. Yesterday's can probably ranked among the worst jams on Jalan Tutong I have ever seen since my family moved to the area about 11 years ago. My wife and my son left the house at about 6:50 in the morning and by 7:15 my wife called me (I was still at home) and told me that she has only gone as far as in front of Masjid Bunut. When I left the house, I decided to go the opposite way through Jalan Gadong but gave that up as that was also jammed. Then I went by the longest route possible via Jalan Jerudong and then the Highway. My wife later told me that after the Simpang Telanai, the road was clear all the way through.

What happened? Considering it was the worst jam in for many years, unfortunately did not make the news so there is no official explanation. What I managed to glean was some snippets of news on HYS - there was a little accident in front of Masjid Bunut - the traffic light at the Simpang of Jalan Tutong/Bengkurong did not work and the traffic light at Simpang Telanai did not work either. The police did their best but at the end of the day, they are only human.

I am thankful the police is around. But sometimes I wished they might as well not bother. What they do sometimes worsen the traffic so much more than actually trying to clear it. There are normally two sets of policemen. One set at the Jalan Tutong/Bengkurong Simpang and the other at the Jalan Tutong in front of Masjid Bunut. The former supposedly is to clear traffic coming in from Bengkurong at the expense of traffic coming from Kilanas. The latter to help traffic from Medewa/Bunut doing a u-turn heading towards Bandar. The first lot to me is useless. There is a traffic light there and all they had to do was actually worked together with the Electrical Department (in charge of traffic lights) and redo the timing sequences of the stopping time. The second set tended to be a bit biased. They cannot see the volume of traffic being held up at the Bengkurong end because their remit is to help the traffic from Medewa/Bunut which by nature whose volume is probably about one tenth of the volume coming through Bengkurong from the Sungai Kebun/Lumapas area. Most motorists who go through here know it apart from those uniformed officers manning these two spots.

A longer term solution means finding an outlet allowing the ever increasing volume of traffic heading towards Bandar and heading back from Bandar everyday because the two lanes both ways are not not sufficient. One answer is enlarging the road but at the moment this is physically impossible because the road is already at its widest. Another solution would be to build another road on top of the existing one turning this if this was to happen the first double tier road in Brunei. This looks very expensive. A third solution is to build another outlet towards Bandar. That means building another bridge across Kampung Ayer from the Sungai Kebun area. Is this feasible? This is as feasible as the building a second tier of road and probably more expensive. Are the costs worth it? To most people who had to endure the jams, yes. But to the authorities who have to juggle the various priorities, probably no. I am all for public transportation. My better half has a simpler solution. Leave early. Hmmmm....

Comments

Anonymous said…
The police have radios but yet they clearly cannot or will not use it to coordinate the traffic. Everything is simple logic. When traffic from the front starts moving, traffic from the back should flow in and vice versa. As usual, like many events/situations in Brunei, coordination is a vital lacking factor.
FlyBoy said…
A simple but costlier solution would be to move house.
Anonymous said…
"That means building another bridge across Kampung Ayer from the Sungai Kebun area. Is this feasible?"

IMO - That would definately be the best option albeit spending a few extra million..then there would be no excuse to be late to work again!
twelve said…
The husband & I live in Bunut the first half of the week and have to endure the traffic along Jalan Tutong. Yesterday we left the house before 7.15ish as the husband wanted to come to work earlier and as we were going back to Jerudong, we went to work in seperate cars. The husband being the relatively impatient one decided to skip the uturn and go through Jangsak whilst I took the uturn.

The dj on KristalFM was talking about the traffic along Bunut and Jangsak. Called the husband to warn him about the traffic in Jangsak as well. He ended up aking the highway through Jerudong too!

Digressing.

Anyways, there was actually an accident a little bit pass the PGGMB housing. When I drove past it, the car involved was not there but there was still a mess! Lampu cucul on the road and the streetlight tumbang. However, the traffic was clearing and the police actually helped considering that cars from the Jalan Beribi-Telanai are relatively less and gave us way through the red light.

Sometimes its easy for people to just blame the police than themselves.
twelve: thank you, i stand corrected for the massive traffic jam. however the day to day jam is still on regardless. the police is in a no win situation - though it does help to leave early as my wife does. however a longer term solution has to be thought of. the traffic volume is increasing compared to when i first moved to the area 11 years ago.
G-`FerRo said…
I agree on the option of building a bridge across Kampung Aying from Sungai Kebun to ease the traffic, despite the high cost.

But cost aside, it will; ease the traffic congestion; save time wasted in traffic jam; save money wasted in traffic jam; community obligation ...

Just like MAS, some of their route (especially those interior route) a not making any profit, but due to community obligation, that route are still available ...

K.. if the bridge are to be built ... or any new bridge are to be built in Brunei ... Please... Please ... PLEASE ... design it in such a way that it could be a landmark for Brunei.. not the typical concrete bridge . ... let the design be a new modern design... such as the Lowry Bridge in Salford Quay, Manchester ... or the new millennium footbridge in London ...or something like this http://www.imagineductal.com/imagineductal/str_study.asp

.. .. or perhaps just those in Putrajaya...
Anonymous said…
Don't forget to consider other alternative forms of transport. Right now, we can't really say we have comparable choices. We simply need cars... Buses are relatively unclean and unpredictable to be considered as options.
As an engineer, I've always compared roads with drains, in that you enlarge one section but keep the others small you tend to get the same result - predictable clogging or congestion. Worse still, one can argue that rainfall is relatively constant year-in & year-out while our population continues to grow at a rate where we'll require more cars each year. Inevitably, we'll reach the point where we won't have the ability to build, widen or maintain our roads at an acceptable rate so these are all temporary or short term solutions.

So can we consider the idea of constructing a monorail or tram system in brunei? Consider having a pilot project first - maybe introduce Brunei's first PPP project. I mean, many of us have riden in our neighbours' public transport (Spore, Msia or Thailand)and liked the experience.

P.S. in the early 20th century, New York city planners began constructing public transport networks, sewage and utility services with a 100 year capacity all with the idea of providing continued competitiveness for the city. It kinda worked didn't it... ; )
Anonymous said…
Maybe we should consider car pooling? I always notice on my way to work that people in cars around me are driving on their own, or at most have 1 passenger. That leaves 3 seats in the back empty.

And given that a lot of people live and work in similar places (gov ministries are a great example, all are close together)it could be fairly easy to organise.

Can i really be bothered though? i might have to wake up a bit earlier, and go a few minutes further down the road.

But I am cheap, and it might save petrol if we took it in turns to drive.

Such a dilemma, think i need some quiet time alone to reflect on it, perhaps when i am next sat in traffic.

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