New York looks at Vision Zero. What about Penang?

New York City’s goal to reduce fatalities by half by 2030 is historic by American standards. Already the safest large U.S. city for traffic fatalities, achieving this goal would save over one hundred lives a year and make a significant impact on the city’s overall health and safety.

USA NYC bike in trraffic - credit NBC New York

- – > Click here for full Vision Zero Report of Transportation Alternatives

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Transforming transport in Penang – the earlier the better

Transport in Penang (and all around the world for that matter) relies on non-renewable sources of energy. Think 20 cars with one person in each vehicle, versus one bus with 20 passengers. The former creates traffic jams and worsens pollution to detract from the overall liveability of a city. It is often argued that supplying more roads only creates more demand for their usage. With 10,000 more vehicles added to Penang’s roads each month [1], we will have to commit ourselves soon to a decision to enhance sustainable transport.

Think City Bhd invited Prof Eric Britton, managing director of EcoPlan International in Paris, founder of World Car Free Days and longtime advocate of sustainable transport initiatives, to Penang with the purpose of studying the transport system, meeting stakeholders and hosting a series of events to come up with ideas and a new perspective for transportation improvements across the state. Thus, Sustainable Penang: Towards a New Mobility was arranged as a two-week itinerary that featured 11 focus group discussions, three master classes, a lecture, a symposium and dialogues with MPPP, MPSP and the Penang Transport Council.

Malaysia Penang heavy traffic in GT

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Malaysia Road Safety Tips

malaysa road safety tips

Nothing new under the sun: Malaysia Road Safety in the 1950′S

Bus Rapid Transit in Penang

One of the most important early programs to create in Penang, and particularly in the first instance in George Town, will be to devise a system in which people who wish to come to the city for reasons of work or other will have a high quality, affordable alternative to using their own car. The immediate model to be examined and adapted has come to be known by the name of BRT or Bus Rapid Transit. It is an approach with many variations, which need to be adapted to the specifics of the city served. The basic idea is simplicity itself: namely to create priority lanes for public transport and services which offer more than competitive advantages to private cars.

taiwan taipei BRTPenang will not have to invent such a system from scratch.  Happily there is a rich background of experience  in  cities around the world and also in Asia.  By way of background information,  we  here draw your attention to a presentation  of international experience and lessons learned from projects in many parts of the world by  a foremost authority in the field,  Professor Geetam Tiwari of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD).  There is already interest in Penang in such services , and now is the time to  turn that interest into reality.

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Zero Fare Public Transport in Tallinn shows a way

(Once again an excellent international planning lesson for Penang.)

The topic of “free public transport” (FPT), or better yet “zero fair public transport” (ZFPT), is one that has gotten considerable attention here in World Streets over the last several years, on the grounds that it is an extremely rich concept which is worthy of careful attention. If at first humanistic and caring glance it appears to be a great and just concept, the fact is that like much of life it is more than a little complicated. Let us have a look at a recent article which first appeared in the pages of our sister publication Citiscope, which we reproduce here with their and the author’s permission. ZFPT in Tallinn, an insider’s view estonia tallinn bus fpt

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World Transport Policy & Practice – Vol. 20, No. 1

This issue of World Transport Policy and Practice opens the journal’s 20th year UK- Alan-Babit-Trmour-enhanced-red light downof  consistent commitment to sustainable transport, which embraces the urgent need to cut global emissions of carbon dioxide, to reduce the amount of new infrastructure of all kinds and to highlight the importance of future generations, the poor, those who live in degraded environments and those deprived of human rights by planning systems that put a higher importance on economic objectives than on the environment and social justice.

These are important messages for transport planning and policy around the world, and exactly the level of thinking that is  much needed to move Penang from the Old to the New Mobility Agenda.  Read on.

The lead editorial by founding editor John Whitelegg  reports on the wrong-headed intensification of the mobility paradigm which is now firmly locked into a very strong, highly destructive  infrastructure fetish.  Articles by Jeff Kenworthy (Australia) , Nguyen Thi Cat Tuong (Vietnam), John Baptist Gauci (Malta), and the team of Mary Surridge, Cathy Green, Dynes Kaluba and Victor Simfukwe (Zambia) complete this latest edition of the Journal.

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