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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Traffic Pet Peeves 2: "Look Ma, no lanes!"

Ever noticed that there is a time lag - sometimes weeks - between when a stretch of road is resurfaced and when the lanes are drawn? Same thing with the manholes - they're not redone to reflect the new, thicker road surface, and become potholes instead.

Ever wonder why?

I am told, from a pretty reliable source, the reason is how JKR awards these contracts. Each "project" has to have individual contractors for each function included in the scope of work, either managed by JKR or under one main contractor.

For example: Resurfacing roads.

  • Scraping the old surface and re-tarring it - one contractor (maybe two, I honestly don't really know)
  • Repainting the lanes - one contractor
  • Re-aligning the manhole covers to the new surface level - this is either part of the contract, OR left to the 'owner' of the manhole (i.e. Telekom, Water Works, etc.). I am inclined to suspect the latter.
  • A few weeks later - a portion of the newly surfaced road is dug up again to lay pipes, or cables, or what have you. It is then given a shoddy patch-up job, until the entire stretch is resurfaced - again.

  • Take Jalan U-Thant, which was recently resurfaced, approximately 2 - 3 weeks ago. As of yesterday evening, no lanes, and manpot-holes (manholes posing as potholes) abound. I use this road every working day to get back home from work. I just wonder how many more weeks it would take to get (at least) the lanes redrawn. And this is right smack in the middle of KL's Diplomatic Corp district!

    Why is work carried out in such an inefficient way? I dunno: Ask JKR.
    Has JKR ever heard of project management? I dunno: Ask JKR.
    Does efficiency and common sense form part of the JKR customer charter? I dunno: Ask JKR.

    And who pays for this inefficiency? Ultimately, you and I, the taxpayer. In the meantime, between resurfacing, painting the lanes and (hopefully) restoring the manhole to the correct road level, what we have is a very nicely surfaced potential death-trap. Especially if it rains. And doubly so if the stretch of road is water-logged, and/or has poor lighting.

    Oh, but lighting and drainage are probably somebody else's problems.

    I dunno. Ask JKR.