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OK, I know Chinese New Year is not officially over yet, but I would like to share my thoughts here…
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This year, Chinese New Year fell on Feb 3. I returned to my hometown for the celebration on Feb 1, and returned to Selangor on Feb 7. As Feb 7 was Monday, I expected the traffic to be smooth, but I was wrong. There was gridlock on many stretches of the highway.
On Feb 5 (Saturday), my cousin traveled from Taiping to Kuala Kangsar. The trip took 2 hours, toll-to-toll. On normal days, it should take no more than 20 minutes.
It looks like Malaysian roads are getting more congested every year…
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I have been thinking: what can be done to tackle traffic gridlock during festive seasons?
The obvious way is to widen the North-South Highway. But given its environmental impacts, and the fact that oil price is rising, I would favor shift of focus to public transportation. The good news is that the government is planning to build high speed rail (HSR) linking the major cities on the West coast of Peninsula Malaysia.
Still, we need a car to visit our relatives and friends during festive seasons. So if we take HSR from say, Kuala Lumpur to Penang, we will want to rent a car on the island. Now I hope car rental agencies such as Hertz would seize on this opportunity to provide the service.