PENANG TRANSPORT COMPETENCE: THE NEED FOR INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY BUILDING (Halcrow 2011-2013)

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.

Continue reading

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

FB SP eb books report title

– Eric Britton, Paris. Update of 30 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.

Continue reading

PENANG TRANSPORT COMPETENCE: THE NEED FOR INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY BUILDING (Halcrow 2012)

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.

Continue reading

Public transport advocate solicits ideas to break ‘car culture’ in Penang

Penang has over-built infrastructures that are poorly used, says Eric Britton. — Picture by K.E. Ooi

From the Archives. George Town Malaysia. Sept 23 , 2013  http://themalaymailonline.com/ —

By Opalyn Mok

A predilection for cars means that 80 per cent of transport funding is used to cater for the needs of 20 per cent of society, according to a public transport proponent today.

World Car Free Day founder Eric Britton pointed out this uneven distribution in public expenditure was an issue in many modern cities, including Penang.

“It should be the other way around where only 20 per cent funding is needed and it can fulfil the needs of 80 per cent of the society,” he said during a media focus group under the Sustainable Penang: Toward a New Mobility Agenda two-week programme this morning.

In a bid to change that, Britton is here for the two-week Sustainable Penang: Towards a New Mobility Agenda.

Continue reading

Project: On-Board Bus Announcements of Next Stop

We discussed with several of the focus groups the possibility of following the lead of leading cities around the world in ensuring that all of the new buses are equipped with a sound system that announces the next stop clearly at least one minute in advance so that all will be able to get to the door and prepare to exit. There was substantial support for this project.

The immediate reason for doing this is to provide convenience service for the blind and others suffering from visual impairments who cannot or have difficulty in recognizing stops, particularly when they use lines with which they’re not already familiar. These announcements will not only be useful for the visually handicapped but also for quite a wide range of other traveling Penangites and visitors.

Continue reading

Getting away with murder on the streets

 In memoriam 2013

Streetsblog: Doing its job year after year in New York City.

Each year our friends over at Streetsblog in New York City publish a heart-rending testimonial to the mayhem that automobiles have wrought over the year on their city’s streets and the cost in terms of lives lost by innocent pedestrians usa ghost bike photoand cyclists. Putting names, faces and human tragedy to what otherwise takes the form of dry numbers, faceless hence quickly forgettable statistics is an important task. We can only encourage responsible citizens and activists in every city on the planet to do the same thing, holding those public officials (and let’s not forget, “public servants”) responsible for what goes on under their direct control.

* * * Who is doing this job in Penang? * * *

Continue reading