MORE HIGHWAYS, MORE CARS, MORE CONGESTION, MORE EMISSIONS, MORE DEBT, MORE WAITING . . . 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:

Continue reading

OP-ED: ROADS, A MUST IN TRANSPORT PLAN

joshua Woo Penang larger

Editor’s note:  What we greatly appreciate in this article by Mr. Joshua Woo, a former Sebrang Perai Municipal councillor, and in a number of his public statements presenting and defending various aspects of the State/SRS PTMP, is the clarity and consistency of his arguments and reasoning.  One may or may not agree with his statements or analysis, but at least he sets out his position and his defense of state government policy clearly and consistently.  Thank you Mr. Woo.

MOBILITY is the backbone of civilisation.

Roads have been the main infrastructure for land travel throughout human history. The importance of roads in improving mobility is universally agreed by city planners. The disagreement is over how to use them. All modes of ground transportation – from horse carriages to bicycles, motorcycles, cars, buses and lorries – need roads.

Roads bring people together, expand empires, create cities and facilitate advancement of knowledge and discoveries.

Therefore, a feasible transport master plan that relieves traffic congestion in the short-term and is capable of increasing public mobility in the long-term needs to be supported by a good road network. Such a network is integral to public transportation.

Continue reading

QUESTIONS OVER PENANG’S RM46B MEGA TRANSPORT MASTER PLAN

Penan CM Chow overlooking Penang

– By P. Gunasegaram . Penang, 2 May 2019.  https://m.malaysiakini.com/columns/474516

QUESTION TIME | Another mega-project which is in the process of being finalised after the RM44 billion East Coast Rail Link and the RM140 billion development value Bandar Malaysia is the RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

As with the earlier two projects mentioned, there are a number of vital questions that remain unanswered over PTMP’s projects and the massive land reclamation project, reportedly worth an eye-popping RM70 billion (subsequently denied) to finance them. There is no clarity on how it will be undertaken, while there is a strong China element to this project as well, with a China firm being one of the beneficiaries of a major contract, as we shall see.

Continue reading

A leading international transport policy expert looks at the PTMP and advises . . .

. . . Look to Singapore, not KL, for PTMP

KL mega traffic with LRT overhead

* Recommended reading for transport policy and practice in Penang . The Editor

Some friends from Penang sent me a bundle of documents on the Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) for me to look at last week. The following is my professional opinion, as a transport economist, on what has been proposed in the PTMP document.

Basically, I am not impressed with PTMP as it does not contain any specific strategy to increase the share of the public transport split that is very low in the case of Penang. More than 90% of the work trips in Penang are performed by private cars and less than 10% are performed by public transport.

There are strong reasons why the work of transport economists is needed in the formulation, planning, evaluation and implementation of any transport plan, rather than relying solely on politicians.

Continue reading

THE RAPE OF PENANG: Rampant Environmental Destruction by out-of-control Speculators, Developers, 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 you 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

_______________________
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

Systems Thinking and System Change

ecosystem traffic cars

An interview with Fritjof Capra, the founding director of the Center for Ecoliteracy, about the emergence of systems thinking, the root causes of today’s social and environmental problems, and how to change the system itself. Fritjof Capra is a best-selling writer and leading systems thinker and author of The Systems View of Life .  Here you will find some extracts of Marjorie Kelly’s  interviews Capra of about the emergence of systems thinking and what lessons it has to offer in a world of convergent crises. Full article at https://greattransition.org/publication/systems-thinking-and-system-change

MK: Your new book, The Systems View of Life, provides an overview of systems thinking for those in a broad range of professions, from economics and politics to medicine, psychology, and law. Why do you see systems thinking as valuable in so many different settings?

FC: Systems thinking is relevant to all professions and academic disciplines that deal with life in one way or another—with living organisms, social systems, or ecosystems. Systems thinking is inherently multidisciplinary and I hope our textbook will help to create a common language for students of all disciplines.

Continue reading

QUESTIONS OVER PENANG’S RM46B MEGA TRANSPORT MASTER PLAN

Penang PTMP SRS State meet sign all men

By P Gunasegaram. https://m.malaysiakini.com/columns/474516

QUESTION TIME | Another mega-project which is in the process of being finalised after the RM44 billion East Coast Rail Link and the RM140 billion development value Bandar Malaysia is the RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP).

As with the earlier two projects mentioned, there are a number of vital questions that remain unanswered over PTMP’s projects and the massive land reclamation project, reportedly worth an eye-popping RM70 billion (subsequently denied) to finance them. There is no clarity on how it will be undertaken, while there is a strong China element to this project as well, with a China firm being one of the beneficiaries of a major contract, as we shall see.

This project, too, appears to be strongly pushed through, this time by the DAP-led state government, despite substantial opposition by many Penangites and NGOs that have demanded answers – which have so far not been forthcoming. It also led to an unpleasant encounter on business radio station BFM 89.9 with Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, which saw him hang up on the questioner, Khoo Hsu Chuang.

That’s a useful starting point for this discussion on the complex PTMP, for which no breakdown appears available so far for the estimated RM46 billion for the various projects.

Continue reading