Mount Erskine by-pass road: Shifting jams from one junction to another

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This statement is by Penang Hill Watch. In the first place, how were all those high-density high-rise projects approved in the Halia area of Mount Erskine.

While private firms reap the profits from these projects, who pays for this by-pass road and further down, the underpass from Mount Erskine to Burmah Road below Gottlieb Road-Bagan Jermal Road?

Here is the statement:

Penang Hills Watch (PHW) would like to refer to the press release by the Penang Island City Council’s Management Services Department (Jabatan Khidmat Pengurusan) dated 18 November 2019 regarding the earthworks in Mount Erskine, Tanjung Tokong.

PHW had highlighted this hill-clearing activity in its report to the Penang state government in September 2018 (Page 7, No. 60), showing photographs and Google Earth imagery evidence of the clearing having started in late November 2017.

PHW received a written response from the city council on 28 December 2018 stating that “mitigation works” were being carried out at the site, which is government land. In this response, there was no mention of the purpose of the earthworks.

It is only from the council’s recent announcement that it was made clear that the earthworks are associated with the construction of a road on hilly land to ease traffic congestion due to new high-rise residential development in the vicinity of Persiaran Halia 3.

We are therefore puzzled why the road construction project has been protracted without signs of progress while the slopes have been exposed to the elements for almost two years. As this road is being built on government land, shouldn’t the Penang state government set a good example by minimising the environmental impact of the construction by ensuring the least damage is done within the shortest exposure time?

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This is particularly in light of the recent statement by the State Executive Councillor for Public Works, Utilities and Flood Mitigation, Zairil Khir Johari, of the alarmingly high level of non-compliance (85%) with the erosion and sedimentation control plan by contractors.

We laud the promise by the state to enact a by-law that allows for stiffer fines for non-compliance with the control plan.

However, encroachment into hilly areas, even for public interest projects like road infrastructure, poses the risk of soil erosion, mud floods and landslides and must be avoided by all means.

The road construction project in Mount Erskine is a case in point. This stretch of road at a hilly area is meant for localised traffic dispersal to avert the congestion that has built up along the Halia highway.

The diverted traffic using the new by-pass will flow along the stretch of Persiaran Halia 3 beside the Mount Erskine market to meet Jalan Mount Erskine lower down the road.

This would only shift the traffic jams from one road junction to another, brought about by new high-rise and high-density developments in the Persiaran Halia 3 area.

As more high-density development projects creep up slopes, the solution to mitigate the resulting traffic congestion seems to be building ‘backdoor’ by-pass roads through gazetted hill land.

The Penang state government must consider better land use and transportation planning strategies rather than resorting to ad-hoc solutions such as this.

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Justice
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Justice

Jam?

Because the number of cars on the roads is rising each day.

Seems like everyone aspires to own personal car.

Like that LRT how to be successful?

Darius
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Darius

Talk so much but nothing about carbon footprint!

Previous readers already mentioned there are simply too many cars on the road. Malaysians are all slaves to their car loans!!!

glissantia
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glissantia

The photo looks like a classic of “arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic”. It shows a giant new highway being carved out of thick jungle, not too far from an existing road.

Shrilly
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Shrilly

With a population of 32 million, Malaysia has a disproportionately high carbon dioxide emission per capita – at 7.27 tonnes, double that of Thailand’s 3.64 tonnes and higher than even China’s 6.59 tonnes (data as of 2015). This is the price of high car ownership among Malaysians.

Xiao Xiong Kou
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Xiao Xiong Kou

Yes, most malaysians will not walk even short distance because of too reliance on their cars.

But some of them would not mind paying extra money for gym menbership to sweat it out in air cond environment. What an irony!

Tegridy
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Tegridy

Daimler, the German carmaker that owns Mercedes-Benz, has said it will shed at least 10,000 jobs worldwide as it seeks to fund the switch to electric cars.

Daimler personnel chief Wilfried Porth told journalists the number of jobs lost would be “in the five figures”.

The move comes days after rival Audi said it would cut 9,500 of its 61,000 jobs in Germany for similar reasons.

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/business-50598673

Malaysia still want to have 3rd national car?