You’re not a real KLite if you’ve never been caught in traffic – bonus points if you’ve been stuck in a standstill on a rainy Friday evening (super bonus points if it’s a Friday before a long weekend). Seeing as how you can’t separate our city from its congested roads and highways, the Time Out KL team has picked out some of Klang Valley’s best roads to be stuck on and think about life, because what is life without traffic jams?
To the uninitiated, the Cheras-Kajang Expressway is also known as the Grand Saga Expressway because it has the most epic road dramas. It’s just like that famous George Lucas saga – you’re forced to awaken when the sky is still on the dark side (say, 5.30am) to reach your office that seems so far, far away. Exit from your house any later and ‘IT’S A TRAP!’ – meet the 5,896,786,235 han(gry) solo drivers who’ll probably chew your head off. You’d think that carpooling might be a new hope to these traffic woes – alas, these roadtroopers have no interest in restoring peace and justice to the neighbourhood.
So you Sith how this works? It’s either you do, or do not get out at 5.30am. There is no try. You Kenobi naive and stop by the roadside for some morning Hutt dogs because your eyes can deceive you; don’t trust them. If you’re new to driving, don’t be afraid. Once you’ve experienced the Cheras-Kajang Expressway, you’ll leave Cheras a learner, and venture into KL, a master. Great, kid, just don’t get cocky. Kong Wai Yeng
Jalan Tun Razak
Excellent news: If you’re the type to worry about the lack of parking spaces in the city (although you can always just, like, pull over and park on the main roads. It’s totally acceptable, and the honking behind you is a form of obvious appreciation and encouragement), Jalan Tun Razak transforms into a gridlocked parking lot during peak hours, beginning from 5pm and sometimes all the way up until 9pm, in which commuting becomes camping. That is to say, you can, in the comfort of your own car as your air-conditioning whips you into a sweet lull of inactivity, sit in that state of standstill traffic for hours at a time as you contemplate your life and tomorrow’s lunch – you’re so lucky to only inch forward 500m in 45 minutes. At its busiest stretch, where merging traffic from smaller roads enter the main motorway, you can compete with your fellow drivers for a chance at the fantastic, frenzied 5km/h experience of trying to get to wherever you’re going. It’s the stuff of dreams. Ng Su Ann
The Sprint Expressway is divided into three sections – Damansara Link, Kerinchi Link and Penchala Link. When you’re stuck in the flood of cars (rush hour in both the mornings and evenings is the best time for an optimal surge), check out the sunrise or sunset juxtaposed with a sea of glittering red lights, or the rolling hills of KLGCC when you’re on the Damansara Link or Kerinchi Link (that’s if you can peer over the road works or through the thickset trees that line its borders). Alternatively, if you prefer something a little darker, there’s always the Penchala Link Tunnel. And herein lies one of the Sprint’s greatest traits. You get to make choices. Because whichever section you pick to get stuck in during rush hour, they all lead to similar areas. And when you’re on the Damansara Link, you even get the choice of whether to take the toll or not (which, we think, is a very important decision indeed). Chai Tze Yuen
THAT Sunway Giza road
You know which Sunway Giza road we’re talking about – that stretch coming in from the LDP that passes The Curve and IKEA Damansara. Continue straight and you’ll make your way through the tunnel and here’s a tip: stick to the right lane unless you prefer bumpy rides. After the slope you’ll see the glorious construction works of the future MRT station (the cause of the traffic) and hundreds of red lights staring back at you. For a less stressful drive, turn left on to the road after the Shell petrol station for the scenic ‘shortcut’ with nice-looking houses that flank the road. Sometimes, there are dogs running around too! What gives us hope are the newly-widened roads, now four lanes instead of three. For a few splendid seconds, you can zoom towards the bottleneck, where these four lanes merge into two. We may make it in time for drinks after all! Alison Khong
For those living in suburbs as far as Shah Alam and Klang, the Federal Highway is the cheapest option for when you’re broke and can’t afford to #treatyoself on the fast lane. The jam on this highway starts as early as 7am and it’s like everyone’s here – cars, buses, lorries, even cement mixers. As for during the rush hour home, things get so bad that most drivers are driven to desperation, and by ‘desperation’ we mean using the emergency lanes when you’re clearly not supposed to. If you’ve used Federal Highway going in both directions long enough, you’ll recognise its patterns – all is usually well after the Canon bridge if you’re heading from KL; and if you’re heading towards the city instead, your patience will be rewarded once you’ve passed the PJ exit. This isn’t saying that it’s predictable; one time it surprised us with a traffic jam at 12midnight that lasted for almost two hours (which means it was also an almost two-hour screaming party in the car). Nadia Rosli