Blog Page 30

Photograph: The Malaysian Insider

Under normal circumstances, I would be the first to support any plan to promote sustainable transport in Penang and Malaysia. Unfortunately, I cannot support the Penang transport masterplan as it stands for the following reasons:

1. Ballooning costs: The cost keeps ballooning even before it starts. RM27bn was already an astronomical figure. Now we are told it will be RM35-40bn (The Edge interview with the Penang chief minister). And that is excluding the tunnel, mind you. (A figure of RM6.3bn has been mentioned for that.) These are mega projects by any definition – and we used to criticise Mahathir for those, with justification. Whose idea was it to have a road tunnel, anyway?


CAP has just come out with a statement below:

What is Penang without her green? What is Green Lane without the Green? Penang is slowly losing its green as more concrete jungles are taking over for development and paving the way for more vehicles.


In this era of climate change, I was alarmed to hear that up to three dozen big trees could be removed along Jalan Masjid Negeri (“Green” Lane) to make way for another car lane. (Update: Apparently, 16 trees could be involved or ‘transplanted’, not 33 as reported – but how many of these transplanted trees will survive?) This is the stretch across the road from the MacDonald’s outlet.

This road-widening project is expected to cost some RM15m. Is this the best use of our limited funds? Would it really solve our traffic problems? For how long?