Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Smart Tunnel

Since moving to Puchong four years ago, I've seen many changes to the roads and traffic system around the Klang Valley.

Some were well intentioned but flawed, such as the Sprint Penchala Link and the NPE, some actually made things worse, etc. But one change that really made a huge positive difference was the Smart Tunnel, which opened a few months ago.

Traffic along the Seremban highway all the way to the city centre suddenly became much smoother, but everyone sort of took things for granted, until the tunnel's temporary one week closure recently. Suddenly it was back to the bad old days again.

By measure of distance alone, the LDP-Kesas-Seremban Highway-Tun Razak way is supposed to be one of the quickest ways to KL from Puchong, but no thanks to crazy traffic planning by DBKL, things get really stuck around Chan Sow Lin. The Smart Tunnel allowed some of the traffic stuck there to bypass the jam and turn up at either Sultan Ismail or Tun Razak.

I've timed myself a number of times, and was amazed to find that despite departing from Bandar Wawasan (where Cynthia's baby sitter lives) at around 8 am, I usually manage to get to KLCC by 8.40 am, plus or minus 10 minutes. Of course, there's the RM 4.20 toll (2.20 at Kesas, 2.00 at Smart Tunnel) to worry about, but if you car pool with someone it really makes sense.

Despite criticisms about its somewhat dangerous narrow winding path and uneven surface, I credit the Smart Tunnel with making one of the biggest impact on my quality of life in the last few years. Thanks to it, I get one whole extra hour in the morning to sleep, shower, etc :)

Now that I am working in TPM, the commute is even shorter, but if I ever need to get to KL, the Smart Tunnel would be my preferred choice.

Just in case you're wondering, I neither work for Gamuda/MMC nor own any of their shares :)

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