MORE HIGHWAYS, MORE CARS, MORE CONGESTION, MORE EMISSIONS . . . ? – Lessons from the learned

Penang aerial photo of highly devloped road system - from Joshua Woo

Aerial photo taken from above article by Mr. Joshua Woo.

Commentary of  Assoc Prof Ahmad Hilmy Abdul Hamid from the School of Housing, Building and Planning,of the  Universiti Sains Malaysia. (See bio note below and list of scholarly publications)  — commenting  on a letter to the editor by Mr. Joshua Woo Sze Seng that appeared in the Star newspaper  last week on 28 May on the topic,  More Highways, More Cars?:

MALAYSIANS are very lucky to have freedom of expression. Anyone can write anything in the newspaper or social media, barring of course things that insult the fabric of our harmonious society.

Unfortunately, this same freedom also allows opinions to be shared by people who might be clueless as to how things work in certain areas.  Yet, these people appear as if they are an authority on the subject just because they are passionate in their beliefs or they happen to shout louder than most.

When Mr. Joshua Woo wrote as an opinion piece  in the Star newspaper  last week on 2 May,  More Highways, More Cars?:   He opens with the following challenge statement:

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WHY SPEND A BILLION DOLLARS IF A FIVE-MILLION DOLLAR SOLUTION IS BETTER OVERALL?

Canada Malahat Highway congestion traffic

A LESSON FOR PENANG

The great weakness of the local political establishment to Penang’s transport planning  and policy needs is that they have insufficient technical backgrounds and competence to solve the mobility problems the people of Penang . This was made clear by the recommendations of the final Halcrow report in 2013 and nothing has been done since to improve the situation.

There are other more effective approaches to dealing with these problems with a strategy of affordable policies, measures and tools capable of giving swift results and a fraction of the costs of the proposed massive infrastructure program, the PTMP.

Let’s have a look at the Canadian report “Rethinking Malahat Solutions: Or, Why Spend a Billion Dollars if a Five-Million Dollar Solution is Better Overall?” at www.vtpi.org/malahat.pdf

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THE RAPE OF PENANG: Deep Environmental Destruction by out-of-control Developers, Investors, Speculators, Contractors, Politicians, State Government and Lobbies in 2019

–  by Kelvin Chan ,  Published on May 1, 2019
                      用航拍记录槟城的发展。航拍槟城各地方,记录槟城的发展

Aerial photography of Penang’s rapacious development in various locations in 2019.

 * We suggest that you take your time and observe in full screen mode for full effect.

Other environment, nature and cultural videos by Mr.  Kelvin Chan at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj6SVRDOhWVhEerCk2gKh5Q

– Video by Kelvin Chan , Published on May 1, 2019
用航拍记录槟城的发展。航拍槟城各地方,记录槟城的发展 – Aerial photography of Penang’s rapacious development in various locations in Penang.

* We suggest that you observe in full screen mode for full effect.
_______________________

COMMENTARY: Trevor Sibert:
Penang Heritage Trust (PHT) Discussions.

Remarkable footage! Will certainly get your hair standing. Credit to the videographer.

It depicts the harsh reality that is plaguing Penang, overlooking sustainable development. The unnatural destruction of natural forest, hills and waterways. Putting lives in danger from landslides. Roads that are merely hanging off cliffs, being used by heavy vehicles too. The presence of unnatural giant pillars for elevated roads. Increasing the carbon footprint!

We are killing Penang!

YOUR COMMENTARY HERE OR VIA CLIMATE@NEWMOBILITY.ORG

WHY SPEND A BILLION DOLLARS IF A FIVE-MILLION DOLLAR SOLUTION IS BETTER OVERALL?

Canada Malahat Highway congestion traffic

A LESSON FOR PENANG

The great weakness of the local political establishment to Penang’s transport planning  and policy needs is that they have insufficient technical backgrounds and competence to solve the mobility problems the people of Penang . This was made clear by the recommendations of the final Halcrow report in 2013 and nothing has been done since to improve the situation.

There are other more effective approaches to dealing with these problems with a strategy of affordable policies, measures and tools capable of giving swift results and a fraction of the costs of the proposed massive infrastructure program, the PTMP.

Let’s have a look at the Canadian report “Rethinking Malahat Solutions: Or, Why Spend a Billion Dollars if a Five-Million Dollar Solution is Better Overall?” at www.vtpi.org/malahat.pdf

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Dear Penang Friends from half the planet over,

cropped-penang-forum-highway-review-committiee-gender-women.png

Penang civil society led by Penang Forum have protested against the state government’s plans.

If you are looking on another independent point of view for all that relates to the Penang Transport Master Plan and its various add-ons, derivatives and unwelcome surprises, from an international perspective, I have a small handful of references points which I hope you may find useful:

  1. “TO AN EMERGENCY CLIMATE/MOBILITY ACTION PLAN FOR PENANG” – at http://bit.ly/2PJyWEV
  1. “STRATEGY FOR A CLIMATE/SPATIAL/MOBILITY ACTION/PLAN FOR PENANG: 2019-2020” – Facebook at http://bit.ly/2ZThVg8
  1. GOOGLE ON “CLIMATE EMERGENCY” PENANG MALAYSIA” – at http://bit.ly/2WjN0ao

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PENANG NEEDS A BICYCLE MAYOR PENANG NEEDS A BICYCLE MAYOR PENANG NEEDS A BICYCLE MAYOR PENANG NEEDS A BICYCLE MAYOR PENANG NEEDS . . .

__ THE FIVE PERCENT 2020 CHALLENGE ___

Penang’s Climate/New Mobility Emergency Action Plan and Demonstrations: 2019-2020

Penang heavy traffic bridge no room for cyclists (Remind me, where do you fit them in?)

Proposed New Mobility Penang Demo Project #1.

PENANG NEEDS A BICYCLE MAYOR

Cycling the streets and roads of Penang today is at best difficult. And rare. There are very few provisions for safe and comfortable cycling, the weather can be terribly hot.  The traffic a challenge, and the old cycling culture has almost entirely disappeared.
So the Bicycle Mayor would be starting with a weak base. But what a wonderful place it could be for the people of Penang to get around safely in daily life. So we start with a dream, then we get courage, and then we get the people, to together turn the idea into reality. A gift to themselves and a gift to the planet.

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PENANG TRANSPORT MASTER PLAN WATCHING BRIEF (Nov. 2018 Update)

FB SP eb books report title

– Eric Britton, Paris. Update of 31 October 2018

Why a Watching Brief for Penang?

On 23 November 2013 I submitted the final report and recommendations to close out the first stage of my planned work as an invited adviser and critic of Penang’s transportation strategy, plans and procedures.  (See the Mission statement at  https://sustainablepenang.wordpress.com/the-mission/ ) The report was intended as a working draft for wide distribution  and vigorous critical discussion in the following months. It was entitled:

“SUSTAINABLE PENANG: TOWARD A NEW MOBILITY AGENDA”      

    Phase 1 Report, Brainstorming  and Policy Recommendations 

You can access the full advisory report here –  http://bit.ly/2IqZ0PO

HOLD IT!  Expected next stage not engaged. What happened?

When the report and its recommendations were apparently set aside and entirely ignored — as had been the fate of the  excellent, highly professional reports and recommendations of the Halcrow Transport Group — I decided not to let it ride and instead of turning my back on this highly dangerous “Master Plan” project chose to set up a public “Watching Brief on Sustainable Transport in Penang” . The objective of the brief is to follow and report to a wide international audience on the continuing see-saw battle between an obstinate under-qualified state government consortium and powerful lobby with a closed-door multi-billion dollar “Big Bang” (their words) program of massive infrastructure expansion, almost all parts of which would in good time succeed only in making what is already a bad situation (mainly nothing more fearful than a plain-vanilla peak hour congestion problem) significantly worse.

After noting the resounding silence in Penang as far as my analysis and recommendations were concerned, my option was to cash the client’s check, do nothing and forget Penang.  Or perhaps to set up something along the lines of an independent . .  .

Watching Brief on Penang’s evolving transport situation and disputes

The goal of this internet platform and associated social media sites then  is to support legitimate sustainable transport initiatives, critical thinking, open discussions, new ideas, consistent policy, fruitful alliances and fact-oriented discussion and anything else that might help advance the public’s understanding of the New Mobility Agenda in Penang.  The watching brief also keeps a careful eye open to identify, feed and encourage public discussion of what are almost surely in this case poor science, bad ideas, absurd proposals and  ad hoc initiatives which violate the basic precepts of the sustainability agenda.

A watching brief is a continuous, independent, and in this case open collaborative monitoring activity of progress and problems taking place in a specific sector or area. It takes a arms-length vision of the focus area and in this case is made broadly available to the public and all involved as a tool in support of Civil Society in Penang.

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