Kuala Lumpur’s River of Life: Pasar Seni LRT

Continuing my previous post on the River of Life project in downtown KL, I recently went to check out another area which is also being redeveloped–Pasar Seni (also known as Central Market).  Since I work in the Ampang Park area, I took the LRT to Pasar Seni after work, and walked back towards Masjid Jamek to pick up my wife.  This afforded me with the opportunity to explore the developments surrounding the area.  The last time I walked around here was about two or three months ago.

The Pasar Seni LRT is located right next to the upcoming Pasar Seni MRT, which will be an underground station. The LRT is currently connected to KTM Kuala Lumpur station via a pedestrian footbridge.

The Pasar Seni LRT is located right next to the upcoming Pasar Seni MRT, which will be an underground station. The LRT is currently connected to KTM Kuala Lumpur station via a pedestrian footbridge.

I’ve always thought that this area has a lot of potential to be developed into a vibrant transit point and tourist attraction.  Imagine if one could take a leisurely stroll by the river, drop by the Central Market and the adjacent Kasturi Walk and explore the heritage buildings that feature in the area.  I always thought that it is such a pity that the station here was not placed below ground, as the train tracks ruin the view of the Central market area.  Also, the car park out front should be turned into a public plaza or park in line with creating more public spaces.

Car park in front of Central Market. How I wish this would be turned into a public plaza or park.

Car park in front of Central Market. How I wish this would be turned into a public plaza or mini-park. (Source)

Looking out of the LRT window every morning, one can see that there is quite a bit of work being done on the river bank.  Similar to what has been happening in the Masjid Jamek area, workers are reinforcing the river banks to support what seems to be a pedestrian walkway that hangs over it.  Progress has been quite slow, to be honest.  Not more than two dozen workers can be seen working there at any given time.

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Said riverbank reinforcement works. I assume that they would look like this when it’s done. So far, these works extend the whole stretch of the river from Pasar Seni LRT to the area behind Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad and Masjid Jamek.

Despite this, things should ramp up in the coming months and years as there should be more foot traffic in this area. For one, Pasar Seni is already a public bus hub.  In addition, the MRT-LRT connection at this station (which will be operational in July this year) will be a direct one, in contrast to the one between the Muzium Negara MRT station and KL Sentral.  Commuters coming in from the suburbs and heading into town will most likely switch from MRT to LRT (and vice versa) here instead of at KL Sentral due to the direct connection.

Riverbank works on the Pasar Seni LRT side of the river. The bank is still covered in graffiti.

There already is a footbridge linking the LRT station to the KTM station on the other side of the river.  So I’m not sure what the drilling work down here is all about.  Is there another footbridge in the making?

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Said drilling works. Anyone care enough to enlighten me on what’s going on here?

Walking down the escalators from Pasar Seni station heading towards Central Market, one is greeted by even more construction work.  The walkway is dusty as they’ve just hacked the brickwork (?) that used to cover it.  You can see on the left that there are several concrete rebars lining the ground.  I’m assuming that they’ll be used to reinforce the walkway, similar to what was done in the Masjid Jamek area.  There is also construction work happening on the right side.

The brickwork that used to line this pedestrian walkway has been hacked.

The brickwork that used to line this pedestrian walkway has been hacked, leaving this narrow path.

I managed to get a glimpse of the notice board that shows the work that is going on on the right side of the above picture.  It confirms the rumours that there a paid link between the KTM and LRT/MRT stations is under construction.  (I assume that the link can only be used by those transferring from KTM to LRT/MRT and vice versa, hence the “paid” link)

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Paid link between Pasar Seni and KTM KL Station

Here’s a close up of the construction work going on right outside the station.

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Bricks and concrete rebar. Could the brick design be similar to the one at the Masjid Jamek area? If so, it indicates some kind of continuity in design all along the proposed riverside walk, which would be neat.

Here’s another picture of the works that are going on:

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You can see on the right that there is a metal structure connected to the bridge. The train tracks are a bit of an eye sore, but hopefully this area will be turned into a nice and open public space.

 

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I wonder how they are going to hide these pipes that currently are placed right next to this bridge. It seems as if they’re widening the pedestrian walkway on it.

All in all, the developments here look promising, but works are a bit slow.  Let’s hope that this project will complete on time, below budget and to the highest possible quality.  It would do much to increasing livability for us urban dwellers.

 

 

 

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