It was only a matter of time before this durian stall relocation happened. The durian stalls were in a prime location in Seapark.
I saw this article in the news recently that the city council has finally decided to house the durian vendors (who took up precious parking lots) to a more permanent location. The “uproar” as stated in the news was due to the lack of parking spaces at the new location, and the lack of space for tables and stools for clients who wish to consume on the spot.
This article highlights some of the complaints… In summary, poor construction quality, lack of considerate vendor space, seating area, parking space for visitors, toilets etc etc. Traffic queues caused major congestions along the major road linking Section 19 to SS2. This road is already heavily used in the best of days.
The councils response was that these were meant to be stalls and that if business was that good, they should open a proper shop.
Frankly, I’m both surprised and disappointed with the council’s response. After all, they supply the permits and presumably charge for it. Did they not survey the human traffic to the stalls? See how much seating area would be required for each stall? How many cars would visit during peak season?
The previous location was great as both tourists and locals could have dinner in the neighborhood and walk to the stalls for dessert. Seating areas were separated from the main road by a divider and a drain.
From the description in the article, it sounds like the present area in Section 19 is literally a stall facing the main road so cars would occupy the road in order to park right next to the stalls. A nearby unlit lot was deemed too dangerous by a customer (yes, sad state of KL life now) to park the car and walk over.
An idea for the council could have been to provide more public car park space by lighting up and improving the unlit space. These would serve the nearby restaurants and encourage other businesses to consider the area attractive. Then, as durian is a seasonal and mostly a night time affair, rent the lots at night to these vendors with strict conditions to clear up every night. Alternatively, the stalls could be built near the parking lots with a toilet (though I tremble to think of the state of a public toilet in KL…). Charge the vendors more if their stalls but give them an adequate facility if the idea is to retain them in the neighborhood.
Well, city planning is unfortunately not a priority in Malaysia and this is just one example.
I couldn’t find a map of the new stall location but I made my best guess on this map. The area has changed a lot since I was last there.
Affected stalls include Donald’s durian which has been reviewed on this blog before.
If you’ve been there recently, please let me know if the articles reflecting the concerns of the vendors are legitimate.