See the latest government announcements, vigorous discussions and media coverage of the proposed 2015 public bicycle project for George Town on our supporting Facebook site at https://www.facebook.com/SustainablePenang.
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.
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.
In the context of the Sustainable Penang/New Mobility 2014 program, the key to the success of the project lies in the identification and eventual preparation and implementation of concepts and measures which give more importance to non-motorized transport and public transportation than to the traditional uses of the private car. One of the concepts that came up early in the Focus Group brainstorming sessions was that of providing voice announcements for the blind and others with visual impairments on the new Rapid Penang bus services being developed across the state. In the following excellent list of needed measures prepared by the local NGO Saint Nicolas Home we see how thoroughly they are looking at the problems of mobility and access for the visually impaired. Thus it is not surprising that Saint Nicolas Home is emerging as one of the most engaged champions of this collaborative project for 2014. (We shall be seeing more about that project shortly here.)
This article critiquing a proposal for the construction of a cable car system appeared in the webpage of the Penang Forum Steering Committee on 10 December 2013. The original is available at web site of the Penang Forum at http://penangforum.net/.