Why Alternatives Analysis is critical to Penang’s transportation future

Alternatives assessment or alternatives analysis is a problem-solving approach used in environmental design, technology, and policy. It aims to minimize environmental harm by comparing multiple potential solutions in the context of a specific problem, design goal, or policy objective. It is intended to inform decision-making in situations with many possible courses of action, a wide range of variables to consider, and significant degrees of uncertainty.

Since the early 1970’s transportation planners apply a multi-modal and/or comprehensive approach to analyzing a wide range of alternatives and impacts on the transportation system to influence beneficial outcomes

Penang’s SRS ca. RM 50 bn “Transport Master Plan” does not make scientific use of an essential transport planning and decision tool, namely Alternatives Analysis to test and compare alternative solutions to identified mobility solutions (see below). This is a grave deficiency which discredits the entire body of proposals,, methodology and recommendations currently being actively pushed by the state government and their under-qualified  consulting partners whose expertise lies in other sectors than strategic transport planning and policy..

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Invitation to the New Mobility Fine Arts Collection: Summer 2017 SLOW CITY PENANG: TIME TO TAKE A GOOD HARD LOOK


SLOW CITY PENANG – AN INVITATION

From the New Mobility Fine Arts Collection, Summer 2017. From 1 July – 1 September

An online exhibit of donated photos, drawings, renderings, street art, child scribblings, videos, poems, proposed projects events . . . .illustrating these two very different sides of life in Penang: fast and slow. the good, he bad and the ugly.

– See https://www.facebook.com/NewMobilityArts/ for details

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SUSTAINABLE PENANG WHATSAPP AS A CROWD RESEARCH TOOL

Dear friends, we have a wonderful resource here with Whatsapp Sustainable Penang in the form of a searchable database of all of our exchanges since the generous creation of this great collaborative tool by no less than the formidable Engineer Lim Thean Heng all the way back there on December 14, 2015.

Just in case you didn’t notice it the transcript of all of these conversations which I have collected and inspected in searchable form run for more than half a million words of what . . . Not just idle chat, but rather the exchanges of a conserved citizenry about the sustainability challenges of Penang in all its dimensions, including of course the running battle of the Penang Transport Master Plan .

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The NGO Challenge to the SRS TMP

reading a map - lost

The goal of this section of the Sustainable Penang supporting websites is to provide easy access to anyone from within Penang or beyond in order to get a clear understanding of what is going on in the at-times painful path of contradictory  and withheld information on the topic of how best to go about creating a sustainable, efficient and equitable mobility system for all in Penang. It works like this.

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Sustainable Transport in Cities– 101 Things You Have to Keep Your Eye On

brain2One of the reasons why such a small proportion of the world cities are working on having more sustainable transportation systems has to do with the fact that these are literally “complex systems”, a category of social and economic interactions which is far more complicated than laying down additional meters of concrete.

A complex system is filled with nuances and surprises, as a result of the fact that all of the bits and pieces that constitute them interact with each other, and all too often yields contradictory results which are quite opposite from what the initial practitiones or policymakers may have wished to bring about.  The classic example of this is of course the discredited “predict and provide” approach to transport which famously creates a mindset which consistently favors more traffic.  So even with all of the goodwill and hope in the world, many of these policies or approaches achieve results which are contrary to the initial expectations and often deleterious.

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