Battle of Ideas: Towards a New Mobility Agenda for Penang

The central premise of the State’s strategy is simple . . .  to “move people, not vehicles”.    – From the Penang Transport Master Plan, at https://goo.gl/h9q8wm

INVITATION TO AN OPEN PUBLIC BRAINSTORM:

Can we get your support for or your reactions to a draft proposal that follows, for comparing the merits and the usefulness for the people of Penang for five alternative strategies for dealing with Penang’s most pressing transport/mobility needs and priorities? (Note: This is a very rough first introduction to this idea for creating a comprehensive independent basis for comparing the alternative strategies, targets and competence.)

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SLOW CITY TRANSITION: NOTES FOR A THINKING EXERCISE ______ “We are the inventors of a new world , My Sir “ _______

FB SC - Groningen streetThe idea of slowing top speeds on traffic in the city to reduce accidents and achieve other important systemic benefits would seem like a pretty sensible, straightforward and affordable thing to do. For a lot of reasons.  Let’s have a look.

* You may also want to check out our Slow City 2017 Reader and Slow City: Start here.

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SLOW CITY: START HERE

FOR THE RECORD AND IN BRIEF:

The first goal of a Slow City project for a city is  (a) to reduce traffic accidents and their human and economic costs sharply, by (b) strategically slowing down traffic speeds, system-wise. This gives the city a measurable output (accident data and on-street and in-vehicle ITS feedback), indispensable for evaluation and management purposes.

In this way a Slow City project relates closely in many ways to the more widely known Smart Cities projects, integrating information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of things (IoT) technology in a secure fashion to manage the city’s assets

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Planning and Policy Objectives for a Real Strategic Transport Plan for Penang

shell-lgame-as-depicted-by-bosch

Again and again and again, when it comes to “transport master planning” in Penang, it seems as if we always end up circling to the same old structurally wrong thing. And in the process allowing the undertrained proponents of the Big Bang “solution” of the present government package, to occupy the center of the debate. This is a huge mistake.

It is my position that the starting place for responsible and effective transport planning and policy in Penang is NOT to link it to land deals —  but to look at the challenge in and of itself. From a well defined, explicit strategic perspective.

Some will say that they do not have enough money to accomplish their objectives — which quickly become wild, pharaonic, costly and not related to the real problems and priorities at hand. Remember, transport for people and not for cars (infrastructure included)

Here is the simple question that the policy makers need to ask and resolve.

(a) What is it that they can accomplish for the people of Penang,

(b) working with available resources in order to

(c) alleviate the day-to-day mobility problems of the people of Penang – with

(d) especial attention to the needs of the poorer half of society and the vulnerable populations (elderly, handicapped, poor, isolated, non-car owners, and

(e) above all women of all ages and stations of life, and in

(f) in the coming four years, i.e., 2017-2020.

How hard is that? And why is no one minding this store?

Please someone, tell me why this is not being done?

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About the author:

Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Britton is an American political scientist and sustainability activist who has lived and worked in Paris since 1969. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets, his latest book, "BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Transport to Your City" focuses on the subject of environment, equity, economy and efficiency in city transport and public space, and helping governments to ask the right questions. A pre-publication edition of Better Choices is currently undergoing an international peer review during Sept.- Oct. 2017, with the goal of publication in English and Chinese editions by end-year. If you wish to participate drop a line to BetterChoices@ecoplan.org .

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Op-Ed: Do Not Feed The Hungry Road Monster

This is not the most subtile treatment of the “More Roads/More traffic” problem I have ever seen, but let’s take a look about how the Penang Forum in its civil society pleading for a real vision and strategy behind transport policy and investment in Penang puts their case.

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Op-Ed. Penang at the Cross Road: Building More Highways? Or A Good Public Transport System?

 

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Penang elevated highway construction project. 2012

Article by Dr. Lim Mah Hui Penang City Councillor

Over the past weeks, Roger Teoh, a Ph.D. student in transport engineering, has contributed three articles in Malaysiakini on the proposed Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP). Based on analysis of extensive database of key transport statistics from 100 cities around the world, he has come to several important conclusions, many of which are very relevant for Penang.

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