Roundabout Considered Near Friendship Bridge

A proposed roundabout at the east end of the Japanese Cambodian Friendship Bridge is under consideration by Phnom Penh City Hall, municipal officials said Tuesday.

If approved, the oval-shaped 100-meter-long roundabout will alleviate traffic at the bridge and be an attractive addition to the city, said Nhem Saran, director of the municipal public works and transport department.

“The main purpose for building the elliptical roundabout is to reduce traffic and make driving easier,” he said.

Proposals for what statue or ornament, if any, will be placed in the center have not been made yet, he said, adding the design of the roundabout is not final.

It is too early in the process to notify residents who could face eviction due to the construction of the roundabout, he said.

Phnom Penh Municipal Governor Kep Chuktema declined to comment Tuesday by telephone because he was in a meeting.

The roundabout would be the eighth in Phnom Penh and add to Phnom Penh’s 70 hectares of public parks and green space, said Sam Samouth, director of the plants and gardens office of the municipal public works and transport department.

“It brings beauty for the city, a good environment and good cleanliness,” he said.

The capital encompasses an area of 2,900 hectares, meaning that public parks and green space make up about 2.4 percent of the city.

SRP lawmaker Mu Sochua said she supported traffic improvement and more green space, but not at the expense of people’s homes.

“Those plans should not affect people’s living,” she said.

Still, she questioned how the roundabout could reduce traffic since most drivers don’t follow traffic laws anyway. The government needs to focus on traffic enforcement, she said.

“Roundabouts cannot relieve traffic because traffic enforcement is limited,” she said.

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