Road closures irk Kg Rimba residents

National 2 minutes, 55 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

RESIDENTS of Kampung Rimba are upset over road closures along Jalan Rakyat Jati Rimba due to upgrading works, with confusing traffic signs and massive jams making their daily commutes a nightmare.

The renovation works stretch along the road from an area near traffic lights in front of De Rimba Department Store to before the roundabout of the Agro-Technology Park heading toward Jerudong-Tungku Road.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, Hjh Janis Salleh, a local villager living near the affected road, said she was concerned over the road modifications with signs not indicating the proper directions for road users.

“I think during the day, it’s alright. You can still see the road clearly. But at night, the arrows and signs along the roads are just confusing drivers. If you don’t live in this area, you might get confused easily about where to go and whether or not you’re driving in the right lane,” she said.

Masnah Abdul Ghani, a frequent user of the road who lives in Kg Rimba near the Giant hypermarket, said the renovation works have led to traffic congestion along Jalan Rakyat Jati Rimba.

“Using that road is actually getting troublesome nowadays. There’s always massive road traffic - especially in the morning and afternoon on work days,” she said.

She added that it’s inconvenient for residents living near the road as they have to use a different and longer route to get home due to the closure of some of the roads and junctions they normally use.

Works to expand the road at STKRJ Rimba village have also affected the shops along the road.

Md Ismail Saleem, an assistant manager of retail shop Faizee Trading Company, said most of the shop owners weren’t informed prior to the road closures in front of Rimba’s shopping complexes.

“The expansion of the road started last December, and the workers said it would only take three to four months. But no one actually informed us prior to that, as the road closures also affected access to our shops here.”

He said they’ve also experienced a 40 to 50 per cent decline in sales since the road renovation started, with customers complaining about the road closures and avoiding the area.

However, the village’s grassroots leaders said residents should be patient and tolerant.

“In this situation, we should always compromise with one another among drivers and residents. Just follow the signboards and hope that the (renovation) project will run smoothly and be done in no time,” said Puspa Hj Md Noor, one of the village heads of STKRJ Rimba.

Wahab Timbang, another village head in the area, reminded residents that the challenges they are currently facing will only be temporary.

“On an individual level, of course some people will find it hard to cope with the current road situation. But we should know that this is for the greater good of the community because once the work is done, it will be for our future ease and use,” he said.

A resident of STKRJ Rimba, Yazid Aji, expressed similar sentiments as he applauded the move of widening the road for the benefit of road users.

“I can’t deny that it was confusing and dangerous at first, but if drivers practise caution and tolerate one another, I don’t think there will be problems for now. Its for the best,” he said.

As of press time, the Public Works Department hadn’t responded to questions on the issue.

The Brunei Times