Road closures in conjunction with New Year bash

KUALA LUMPUR: Several roads in the city will be closed in conjunction with the 2008 New Year Eve countdown celebrations.

People who want to participate in the events, which will take place at eight locations, are advised to park their vehicles in the designated areas or use public transport.

The eight locations are Dataran Merdeka, KLCC Twin Towers, Bukit Bintang, Merdeka Stadium, Bangs-ar/Telawi, Sri Hartamas, Mid Valley and KL Sentral.

Kuala Lumpur acting traffic police chief ASP Ng Fook Long told a news conference yesterday the police expect traffic congestion with some 1.5 million vehicles entering the city.

He said the road closure would be implemented in permanent and temporary phases.

Roads to be totally closed in the vicinity of Dataran Merdeka are the stretches from the Jalan Hishamuddin traffic lights, the Jalan Raja traffic lights and Jalan Raja from the Jalan Raja-Jalan Tun Perak intersection.

Jalan Raja will be closed on Sunday for the construction of a stage while the surrounding roads would be closed from 6pm on Monday.

Those going to Dataran Merdeka can park their vehicles at Jalan Sultan Sallehuddin (for motorcycles), Padang Merbok (buses) and the Dayabumi Complex, Central Market, Bukit Aman car park, National Monument, National Mosque and Islamic Arts Museum (cars).

The car park for VIPs is in front of the National History Museum and Jalan Mahkamah Persekutuan.

At the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), the affected roads are Jalan Persiaran Exxon Mobil to the Jalan Stonor traffic lights, which will be closed from Sunday for the construction of a stage, while roads leading there, namely Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Pinang, Jalan Kia Peng and Jalan Stonor, will be closed in stages.

The car park for the KLCC event is the Exxon Mobil car park, areas around KLCC and the KLCC basement car park.

Jalan Telawi 3 in Bangsar Baru will be closed from 3pm on Monday to 1am on Tuesday. The roads in the vicinity, such as Jalan Maarof and Jalan Telawi 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, will be kept open but could be closed if necessary.

The MCA will organise a concert at Merdeka Stadium and the roads around the stadium such as Jalan Hang Jebat, Jalan Changkat Stadium and Jalan Stadium would be turned into one-way roads as the situation warrants.

Ng said visitors to Merdeka Stadium can park their vehicles in front of the stadium, at Sekolah Menengah Victoria, Jalan Hang Jebat, Jalan Changkat Stadium, by the Chinese cemetery (Jalan Kerayong), UDA Ocean/Plaza Warisan and Padang Merbok.

Several roads in Bukit Bintang will also be closed, from the Jalan Imbi-Jalan Sultan Ismail traffic lights to the Jalan Sultan Ismail/Jalan Bukit Bintang traffic lights, from midnight on Sunday for the construction of a stage.

The roads will be reopened at 5am on Tuesday.

Visitors can park their vehicles at Imbi Plaza, Low Yat Plaza, Sungai Wang Plaza, BB Plaza, the Pavilion, Berjaya Times Square, Lot 10 and at private car parks around Jalan Imbi and Jalan Bukit Bintang.

Outer ring roads like the Seremban Highway heading towards Jalan Tun Razak, the Kampung Pandan roundabout to Jalan Tun Razak (towards Bukit Bintang), the Jalan Kuching exit road from Mahameru towards the Putra World Trade Centre and the Bukit Petaling/Jalan Dewan Bahasa exit road towards the Jalan Loke Yew/Hang Tuah traffic lights will also be closed.

The Jalan Kuching exit road from Mahameru, the "Y" exit road from both directions going up towards Jalan Sultan Ismail and the exit road to the Dato Onn roundabout from all directions towards Jalan Raja will be closed if necessary.

Ng advised motorists to come early and plan their journey along alternative roads and avoid the roads that would be closed.

He said that police from other branches, such as narcotics and crime, will also mount their operations on New Year's eve. He advised parents to monitor the movement of their children who normally ride bicycles in groups on New Year's eve.

Meanwhile, the KTM Kommuter service will be extended until the early hours of Jan 1 in conjunction with the New Year eve celebration.

The extended service involves 13 additional trains on the Seremban-Rawang and Sentul-Port Klang lines, KTM Berhad said in a statement today.

For the Seremban-Rawang line, the first additional train leaves Seremban at 10.50pm on Dec 31 while the last one is at 2.20am on Jan 1.

On the return journey, the first additional train leaves Rawang at 10.45pm on Dec 31 and the last one at 2.50am on Jan 1.

For the Sentul-Port Klang line, the first additional train leaves Sentul at 11.05pm on Dec 31 and the last one at 3.20am on Jan 1.

On the return trip, the first additional train leaves Port Klang at 10.55pm on Dec 31 and the last one at 2.25am on Jan 1.

KTM Berhad advised commuters to buy return tickets to avoid congestion at ticket counters. — Bernama