Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The challenges of driving on Jalan Rozhan

My normal route from home to Simpang Ampat would usually take me through Machang Bubok because of the lesser traffic there, but because I was coming from a different direction this morning, I decided to use the Jalan Rozhan way.

Halfway through my journey, I realised suddenly that the road had changed tremendously in the last few years and the 5.5-kilometre stretch was now sprouting all sorts of developments, both residential and commercial.

TESCO already has a presence along this road for two or three years now and practically across from it, AEON is scheduled to complete its relocation from Perda to their new commercial outlet within the next two months or so. Jalan Rozhan will definitely become a very busy thoroughfare, if it is not already considered busy as it is now.

Travel along this road used to be a very leisurely affair. I remember that when I first moved to Bukit Mertajam about 10 years ago, I had driven along this road and it was only a single lane in either direction without much development in sight. Both sides of the road were lined with oil palms and night time was pretty dark as street lamps were dim and rather far apart.

And now, this road has been widened from the Permatang Tinggi junction until a bit after the Jalan Sejahtera junction. There is also a flyover over the Malayan Railway double-tracking project so that motorists no longer have to wait for the trains to pass by.

On my way back from Simpang Ampat, I deliberately used this road again. And I counted a total of nine sets of traffic lights from one end to the other. Two were still not functioning as the developments they will serve were not completed yet. But eventually, they will. And when they do, I can bet that driving here will become even slower and inconvenient with the frequent stops and starts. but then, progress does not come without a price.  

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