PENANG TRANSPORT COUNCIL – SUMMER 2015 PROGRESS UPDATE

penang transport council 2We shall be looking at this important politically appointed advisory group of twenty nominated men and two women in the weeks ahead to see if an independent analysis might help our readers come up with ideas to help Penang do better. We hope to be able to share with out readers all reports and recommendations coming out of this group and passed on to the State government or other institutions since 2012.

The Penang Transport Council website states its mission as follows: “To adopt a new vision-paradigm in tackling transport – one that moves people away from over-dependence on private transport to a more economically and ecologically sustainable public transportation system.”

The following text is taken as is from the PTC site at http://ptc.penang.gov.my

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Why I am Reasonably Optimistic about the Sustainability Transition

Transformative Realities and Trends for 2015-2020

eb-tallinn-statementOne of the great recompenses of having watched the sustainable transportation and related technology developments evolve over the course of several decades, is that if one takes the time to step back and scan the evidence for pattern breaks, one can readily spot a certain number of fundamental structural changes, quite a few of which bode well for a different and better future for transport in and around cities. Here are a handful of the fundamental underlying changes which I have spotted over the last decades and which I would like to share with you this morning.

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Sustainable Penang/New Mobility Agenda: 2015 Challenges

Lyon, 23 November 2014

malaysia penang dangerous street crossingDear 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.

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Project: On-Board Bus Announcements of Next Stop

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.

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Team Building in Penang: Key Organizations and Agencies

malaysia penang mail boxThe following listing of twenty-plus organizations is intended eventually to identify all those groups and institutions who are going to have a role in the restructuring of Penang’s transportation arrangements. (Each of these entries is clickable and will take you directly to the indicated source.)

But here’s our question. Are there other groups and agencies (and companies and media) who should be identified here for communication and coordination purposes in support of the project?  And should you have a contact name and email address at hand, that would be much appreciated. If so please let us know via the email address penang@ecoplan.org. Thank you.

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Changing Mindsets (in Penang)

The mind. . . yours, mine, theirs. This is the hardest challenge of all, and one that is right at the core of our Sustainable Penang/New Mobility Agenda city towers jan gehl - smalltransformation project for 2014 and beyond.  Fortunately we are not the only ones since it is the age-old habit of man to lock blindly into old ideas — and particularly all those  old ideas which are so omnipresent and unquestioned by all who surround us that they finally become invisible. How can we change something if we cannot see it? But let’s hear what our old and great friend Jan Gehl has to say about this in a lecture which he gave recently to the annual conference of the European Foundation Centre on “Sustainable Cities: Foundations and our Urban Future” in Copenhagen.

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Why the Dutch cycle (It’s not an accident)

This posting is part of a stimulating dialogue in which two contrasting views of the role and practice of city cycling are discussed. Because the issues examined here are in many ways universal and fundamental to the success of a city cycling program, including the on-going early Spring of a much needed cycling Renaissance in Penang, we are pleased to be able to share this first article with our readers. (PS. We need more creative disagreement between informed people such as this. If everyone agrees too quickly mediocrity invariably results. Sustainability is hard and challenging work.)

netherlands-amsterrdam-cycle-path

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