* See article in today’s The Star Online at Source: http://goo.gl/JmlZ1D
There are two things that are badly wrong with this proposal.
The first, and by far the easiest to deal with, is that it is a silly, amateurish and quite inappropriate mobility project, a waste of taxpayer money, unacceptably ad hoc and a waste of valuable time (in that it distracts attention and resources from the real challenges). Every international transportation professional with a serious education in the field has known that for the last two decades– other of course than those who just love this kind of technology and/or are in the hire of the eventual suppliers. So off it goes.
Lyon, 23 November 2014
Dear Penang Friends and Participants in the Sustainable Penang/New Mobility Agenda program,
An end-year note from Lyon to let you know that in the year ahead my colleagues and I intend to persist in our efforts to support the efforts to bring sustainable transport to Penang. For the time being and to keep the project alive, this takes the form of (a) maintaining our Sustainable Penang/New Mobility Agenda website at https://sustainablepenang.wordpress.com (currently being kept up to date and followed by 153 people both in Penang and beyond) and the supporting Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/SustainablePenang (117). (You can see a bit more about how these information and exchange points are working in the two maps at the end of this posting.)
After careful consideration I have come to two policy conclusions about the reality of the transport situation in Penang which I firmly believe are critical to your future and which I would now like to share with you. Good news, and less good news.
Celebrating Bandung’s Car Free Day. Known as “We shot Bandung” Credit: Ikhlasyl Amal.
At a terrible time in the history of mankind, I propose to you this photograph as a message of hope and a silent clue to a better, sweeter future for all. . . agreeing as I do with the poet Louis Aragon when he wrote so long ago: “La femme est l’avenir de l’homme” (“Woman is the Future of Mankind”).
What about this? Let’s get together, you and, I to see what we can do about making this the universal theme of World Car Free Day this year . . . in as many cities and countries around the world as we can. One city at a time.
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9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France
Bio: Educated as an international development economist, Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher and sustainability activist who has worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. 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, civil society and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets: The Politics of Transport in Cities | See Britton online at https://goo.gl/9CJXTh and @ericbritton
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Kuala Lumpur Car Free Morning (KLCFM)
The mayor of Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib, is engaged in an interesting experiment which got underway in January this year with the announcement by the city of a “Cycling Sunday”, to take place on the first Sunday of each month from 7:30 to 9:30 during which time a six kilometer stretch of streets in the central area is made (car) traffic free and reserved for cycling. On the first Sunday more than 1000 people came out to take advantage of the traffic free stretch: adults and children, cyclists, pedestrians, skateboarders and online skaters among them.
In an article entitled Traffic Congestion in Penang, published by the Penang Transport Council on 31 March 2010, we can get an idea of the level of awareness shown by State government of traffic congestion issues and eventual solutions at the time. One important missing piece of the puzzle in their overview is the lack of consideration of land use and related urban planning issues and measures. Something which is very much in the hands of local government. Many of these points come up again in the 2013 Transport Master Plan Strategy for the State of Penang. And as of the date of this posting (13 May 2014) are still very much unresolved.
Let’s have a closer look at the composition, contributions and independence of the Penang
Transport Council in the weeks ahead. There may be some interesting lessons there.
During the course of the series of Focus Groups, master classes, conferences, presentations, and media events organized in support of the program over the period 22 September to 6 October more than 100 project ideas of a wide range of types and sizes were advanced for discussion, consideration and counsel. (See Table of Ideas here at http://wp.me/3GVVk for details.) One of the most favorably received of these was the proposal to look into the creation of a program of Sustainable Penang/New Mobility Grant Awards. The discussion document presented to the meetings is reproduced here. As this project advances you will find more in these pages.
During the course of the several dozen discussions and presentations which took place over the period 22 September through 6 October 2013, in which in all more than 500 people from a broad range of organizations participated, a great deal of attention was given to the discussion of new project ideas and initiatives which could in time provide the actual content of an eventual longer-term Sustainable Penang/New Mobility collaborative program. Subsequent to these sessions, the following list of project ideas was generated by the joint Think City/EcoPlan team. The presentation that follows is still quite rough but will give the reader an idea of the wide range of ideas under consideration.