The Privileged Few: Getting to work on one more morning in Penang 

By. E. Britton. World Streets, 11 July 2018


Dear Friends. Transport planning, engineering, policy and investment in cities and regions is a complex systemic challenge which requires extensive analytic work, up-to-date technical skills and careful planning and preparation in each case. In short, lots of first rate science.

So before we start to get into conversations about your or my wishes, thoughts and preferences for specific big technology choices — more roads, wider roads, tunnels, freight delivery, pedestrianization, cycling, PRT. GRT, LRT, BRT, monorails, SkyCabs, trams, ride sharing,carsharing,  pedestrian bridges, parking policy, congestion charging, eco-districts, signaling and signage ,equity, policing and enforcement, Driverless cars, UBER, elderly and handicapped, schools, safety, security, speed, dignity, gas prices, active transport, etc. etc. , — we all have to do our homework first. I am sure you agree.

In our particular case here in Penang the internationally recognized transport consultancy Halcrow — who I promise you are very good at all these technical and institutional challenges, — spent two years working hard with a highly qualified staff to orient and guide Penang in your future transport choices — ending up with eight thoughtful volumes of recommendations -, of which I attach two here — which are essential reading for policy makers, civil society, the private sector, and concerned citizens.

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The New Government should have a New Transport Policy

Count the buses, trams, bicycles, and shared cars in moring rush hour in Penang

   – By Wang Zuxun. This excellent article was published July 3, 2018 in Chinese in http://bit.ly/2KSHCZn . It was kindly brought to our attention by Dr, Lim Mah Hui, former Councillor in the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and active as a member in the Penang Forum. What follows is a machine translation of the Chinese original, lightly edited for clarity as possible. You will still find anomalies, but the text is largely readable and the article so good that we can leave it to you to sort them out for yourselves. 

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Op-Ed: Revisit the Penang transport masterplan

Open appeal to the new Penang chief minister

Dear Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow,

Let me at the outset state that I have the utmost respect for you and I thank you for welcoming open discourse on the Penang transport masterplan. As a Penangite and a supporter of yours, this is my open appeal to you to pause and rethink the plan as follows;

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Archives: Brainstorming the Penang Transport Master Plan(s)

Penang MP Poster top illustrationDraft introduction: Welcome to a collaborative thinking exercise inviting  any and all who may have some questions about the focus, the vision and in the end the quality of future mobility services as being proposed and aggressively pushed by the state government of Penang. The central instrument for this group investigative process is a group of poster illustrations which combine simple images and a few telling words in order test our understanding of the Penang Transport Master Plan — all this as  prepared for the recent Gertak Sanggul Art Festival by Kin Yin and a group  of young collaborators (who will be identified shortly in the final section of this first presentation).

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This article addresses a critical part of the on-going Penang transport master planning process — the importance of professional competence int the sustainable transport planning field —which at present is doing so very poorly on just about all fronts.  It presents extracts from the final chapter and overview for the necessary future preparations as set out in Halcrow’s “Institutional  Plan” document of October 2012 . The complete original report is available at http://bit.ly/2KvCz1u.

This excellent analysis and action program recommendations for the future was paid for by the citizens and taxpayers of Penang.  All the reports in this series are being made freely available to all under the Creative Commons  Public Domain License  ( https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/PDM_FAQ)

Readers interested in accessing the eight key volumes, will find them available in the Penang/Battle of Ideas “Watching Brief “web site at http://bit.ly/2KEXWcS – and from there cursor down to the right hand column under the heading Halcrow Reports: 2011-2013.

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– CIVIL SOCIETY – THE THIRD FORCE: Government of the people, by the people, for the people

Please have a look and, if interested, may we have your thoughts about these and other impact areas that in your view need to be taken into consideration in order to have a full and shared understanding  of these impacts of the proposed and latest SDS Penang Transport Master Plan.

The objective here is not to criticize or belittle the State’s efforts at improving the short-comings and potential of today’s transportation arrangements in Penang.  But to provide open citizen feedback to their proposals to all levels of government, civil society and the public at large.  As President Abraham Lincoln put it at a hard moment for history  in America: “Government of the people, by the people, for the people”.  Your responses welcome here or to penang@ecoplan.org. Thank you.

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ON A SCALE OF 0-10: please show us your views concerning how the proposals, measures  and their potential set out in the  SDS PTMP do in the following legitimate areas of citizen interest and concern. Some of these are quite specialized as you will see as your work your way down the list, but don’t let that bother you.  Just share your views with the items that strike your attention. With a careful eye to both long and short term impacts (say in the coming three years, 2018-2020).

* * * For latest version of SDS MP : http://pgmasterplan.penang.gov.my — See below the listing of the principal infrastructure projects proposed by the plan.

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Penang Transport Master Plan (2016 official SDS version)

State Government’s announced “Big Bang” approach to a “Holistic” Penang

PtMP - SDS - CMHolistic approach

The full content of the official Penang Transport Master Plan (SDS version) as available on 27 June 2016 is reproduced here for the convenience of our international visitors interested to follow progress . As indicated this is considered by local government as a living document, subject to extensions and updates. For the latest version of this document: http://pgmasterplan.penang.gov.my

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