LET’S SEE WHAT HAPPENS IF WE LOOK AT THE LAST TWO YEARS FROM A POSITIVE PERSPECTIVE?
It is easy to criticize, easy to argue about long-term transport policy and huge infrastructure investments that will only start to have their first impacts decades out — but what about the positive side of sustainable transport developments and measures on the street and impacting on people’s day-to-day lives today in Penang? Events and improvements that have been made over the last two years, including getting underway even now.
Let’s get together to prepare a collaborative audit of recent and on-going transport and service innovations and improvements, taken by local government, the private sector or organizations within civil society, as a base for better understanding what other opportunities are out there for near term sustainability improvements .
To get on the right side of these real world issues, I propose that we now get together to compile a comprehensive listing of all the good actions, small and large, that different levels of government, industry and civil society have accomplished or are working on over the period 2013-present, aiming to improve in specific ways sustainable transport, environment and public space in Penang.
To get the ball rolling, here is a first handful of useful initiatives I have recently run across:
- The recent extension of the CAT service
- The bus shelters art promotion efforts.
- New buses and services brought in by Rapid Penang and perhaps private operators as well.
- New protected pedestrian crossings (including the MBPP project shown above)
- Penang Road safety campaign 2014-2020
- “Pedestrian is King” project (identify)
- Traffic flow changes (one way, two ways)
- Bicycle paths, lanes, markings
- New parking coupon system
- White Cane Day
- Daniel Soon’s excellent reminder that one irrefutable reason for NOT mixing pedestrian and cycling lanes is that they present dangers and fearfulness for those with vision deficiencies.
- Ditto reminders for various people that this is also problematical for older, less agile people
- Penang Idiot Parking and Reckless Driver – name and shame Facebook page
- etc., etc.
It is my guess that this process of innovation is already moving ahead, project by project, and needs to be made better known. Since I have not been in Penang since October 2013 I have not been able to follow and keep up with these “many small victories” (and less small). There are surely dozens of them and merit being better known to all.
So let’s do a collaborative audit! together developing a list identifying these corrective actions can make a difference in people’s daily lives in the island and the peninsula, in George Town and Butterworth, and all their surrounding areas, small towns, built up and rural.
Please send in your candidates to the addresses indicated below. In each case if we can have a reference and a key contact, that would be great. This will be important because if we are to reshape the near future in Penang, we also need to be able to do this from a more positive perspective.
Sincerest thanks for your contributions, comments and information. You will see that the people of Penang are not standing still.
Eric Britton> firstname.lastname@example.org. Skype – newmobility tel. +336 5088 0787
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A number of us have been very busy in the interim, and at this point we have the following collaborative tools and assets at our disposal to support the Sustainable Penang project and network. Among these:
- MISSION: Sustainable Penang: Toward a New Mobility Agenda – https://goo.gl/vvtqVN h
- OPEN PUBLIC LIBRARY at https://goo.gl/gJTJZD
- PUBLIC ENQUIRY # 1/Brainstorming report of Nov. 2013 – https://goo.gl/0BgurW
- TWITTER – https://twitter.com/SustainPenang
- LINKEDIN – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/5084715
- #BETTER PENANG at http://www.betterpg.com/
- CIVIL SOCIETY IN Penang (Draft for review) – http://wp.me/p3GVVk-om
- ONLINE 24/7 Open Town Hall Meeting (Vol. 1, 2) – https://goo.gl/DdWumT
- WORLD STREETS: The Politics of Transport in Cities – https://goo.gl/kCslJx
In our shared library along there are more than one hundred reports and working papers, including the entire cycle of planning reports prepared by the Halcrow group over the period 2011-2013, and numerous other consultant and expert reports.
It just may be that we are closer to getting ready to move ahead on thee New Mobility Agenda for Penang than many may have thought.
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About the author:
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France
Bio: Britton is an American political scientist and sustainability activist who has lived and worked in Paris since 1969. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets, his latest book, "BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Transport to Your City" focuses on the subject of environment, equity, economy and efficiency in city transport and public space, and helping governments to ask the right questions. A pre-publication edition of Better Choices is currently undergoing an international peer review during Sept.- Oct. 2017, with the goal of publication in English and Chinese editions by end-year. If you wish to participate drop a line to BetterChoices@ecoplan.org .