CAP: What is Penang without its roadside trees?

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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.

Thus, the Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) is very disappointed to learn that the City Council of Penang Island (MBPP) will be uprooting several trees at Jalan Masjid Negeri, along the stretch across the road from the McDonald’s outlet. This is done to make way for another car lane, giving priority to vehicles over our trees and environment.

This is not the first of this odious act. MBPP had already removed more than 60 trees along the 700-metre stretch of road from the Jalan Udini roundabout to the Shell petrol station on Jalan Masjid Negeri back in 2012. We had raised our objections then but to no avail. What is the fate of the trees that were transplanted then?

One issue to be seriously considered by MBPP is whether the previous road widening efforts managed to eliminate traffic congestion that we are facing today especially along Jalan Masjid Negeri? If it is now clear that even doubling the road width does not resolve the problem, why are the authorities now embarking on another bout of road widening, this time of a lesser dimension but with huge costs to the roadside trees?

CAP objects to the removal of our roadside trees. The beauty of some of Penang’s roads is attributed to its tree-lined roads. The trees along Jalan Masjid Negeri add charm to the neighbourhood and also provide important benefits such as the provision of shade, the buffering of noise, improve the microclimate of the area and function as natural purifier of air pollution. When the trees are gone, we lose all these essentialities they provide us.

As for the traffic problem, thus far, the authorities have only paid attention to the supply side of the traffic equation and not the demand side. That is, unless the authorities have the political will to decrease the usage of private vehicles through higher parking charges and imposition of fees for road usage particularly during peak hours, merely widening roads is a futile exercise. The authorities must look for holistic long-term solutions and not short-term solutions.

CAP wants an assurance from the State Government and MBPP that the trees along this stretch of Jalan Masjid Negeri will be spared. The roadside trees of Penang are our heritage which must be conserved in situ. Urban trees are a public good that must be cherished and not become victims of development.

SM Mohamed Idris
President
Consumers’ Association of Penang

Apakah Pulau Pinang tanpa pokok-pokok tepi jalan?

Apakah Pulau Pinang tanpa kehijauannya? Apakah Green Lane tanpa Green-nya (kehijauannya)? Saban hari Pulau Pinang makin kehilangan kehijauannya kerana hutan konkrit yang kian bertambah akibat pembangunan dan penambahan kenderaan.

Justeru itu, Persatuan Pengguna Pulau Pinang (CAP) amat kecewa setelah mendapat tahu yang Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang (MBPP) akan bertindak menyingkirkan beberapa batang pokok di Jalan Masjid Negeri, di jalanraya bertentangan dengan McDonald’s. Tindakan ini dilakukan untuk melebarkan jalan di situ justeru memberi lebih keutamaan kepada kenderaan berbanding dengan pokok-pokok dan alam sekitar.

Ini bukan kali pertama tindakan sebegini dilakukan. MBPP telah bertindak menyingkirkan lebih 60 batang pokok di sepanjang 700 meter jalanraya dari bulatan Jalan Udini hingga ke stesen minyak Shell di Jalan Masjid Negeri pada tahun 2012 yang lalu. Kami telah membantah tindakan tersebut tetapi gagal. Kini kita tidak tahu akan nasib pokok-pokok yang ditanam semula itu.

Salah satu persoalan yang perlu diambilkira oleh MBPP ialah adakah usaha pelebaran jalan yang sebelum ini telah dapat mengawal kesesakan lalu lintas yang dihadapi setiap hari terutamanya di Jalan Masjid Negeri? Sekiranya sudah pasti sekarang ini bahawa pelebaran jalanraya tidak mampu mengatasi masalah kesesakan lalu lintas, maka mengapakah pihak berkuasa masih lagi memperlebarkan jalan? Kali ini pelebaran jalanraya adalah kecil tetapi dengan kemusnahan yang amat besar kepada pokok-pokok di tepi jalan itu.

CAP membantah keras tindakan menyingkirkan pokok-pokok di situ. Keindahan sebahagian dari jalanraya di Pulau Pinang adalah daripada pepohonan yang memenuhi kiri-kanan jalan-jalan tersebut. Pokok-pokok di sepanjang jalan itu juga mempunyai kepentingannya yang tersendiri seperti meneduhkan kawasan itu, mengurangkan kebisingan, mempertingkatkan mikro-iklim kawasan tersebut dan berfungsi sebagai pembersih udara yang asli. Apabila pokok-pokok tersebut tiada, kita akan kehilangan segala manfaat daripada pokok-pokok itu.

Setakat ini, pihak berkuasa hanya menumpukan kepada penyelesaian untuk jangka masa pendek daripada penyelesaian untuk jangka masa panjang. Antara penyelesaian yang boleh diambil adalah seperti mengurangkan kenderaan yang berada di jalan raya dengan menaikkan caj parkir dan mengenakan bayaran ketika menggunakan jalan pada waktu puncak daripada hanya melebarkan jalan sahaja.

CAP mahukan jaminan daripada Kerajaan Negeri dan MBPP bahawa pokok-pokok di sepanjang Jalan Masjid Negeri tidak akan terlibat dalam pembangunan. Pokok-pokok di kiri-kanan jalanraya merupakan warisan kita yang harus dipelihara. Pokok-pokok di kawasan bandar kita adalah untuk kebaikan orang awam yang perlu dihargai dan bukan dijadikan mangsa pembangunan.

SM Mohamed Idris
Presiden
Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP)
Persatuan Pengguna Pulau Pinang
10, Jalan Masjid Negeri
11600 Penang

Tel: +604-8299511, Fax: +604-8298109

www.consumer.org.my

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benny

A mere 16 trees involved in road widening project – MBPP

benny

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is baffled as to why the uprooting of trees for a road widening project along Jalan Masjid Negeri has become “such a big issue.” Commenting on a recent protests by an NGO over a number of trees which are set to be relocated, Lim said other states also do the same thing. “In other states, they cut down trees or forests and it is not an issue. But in Penang, it becomes a very big issue if we uproot even one tree. “In other states, road widening projects are not an issue but in… Read more »

4-SeKawan Gelak-Gelak

Lessen traffic congestion? My foot!
LGE, you better take a drive after work to see the slow traffic from the roundabout till Masjid Ngeri. And also the other direction.
More so during weekend.
What improvement?
Don’t give more excuses if Greener Penang is anything but cutting or removing trees for more traffic bottlenecks.

gk ong

The old roads of Penang are designed without taking into consideration that every household member would today own and drive own’s car, contributing to traffic congestion during peak hours. In the old days students cycled to school and husband & wife shared the same car like sharing the same bed.

Allen Warren

They don’t even bother to ensure developers plant trees in some developments…so guess this is not surprising

Calvin Tung

My suggestion is for the CM to get all vehicles to take a longer route doing away with the traffic lights and do away with the cutting of trees. Green Lane is meant to be green. Let the people of Penang knows if they want to keep the green then they need to travel a slightly longer route. End of the day we can keep our trees and take out the traffic lights next to Convent Light Street.

Jude Manickam

Botak Penang??

benny

CAP should promote tree planting in Penang. Imagine the impact to greenery effort if every household in Penang could plant a tree in their neighborhood.

Heng

I support.

eeyaw

LGE should take note that its no point in building new or widen existing roads, Penang Island has limited land & it should not encourage more vehicles. An underground rail should be the best way to go Mr Chief Minister.

henson

Some say DAP Penang succumbs to Developers of high end condos, and are we saying they now kow-tow to motor cars dealers to the extent that we are seeing road expansion at the expense of living trees ?

tunglang

I suspect Ah Piang convinced Niao Kong to widen most heavy traffic roads so that his fleet of Merc S300 Lansi can sell well in Penang Island for the rich & famous. Niao Kong should know well how frustrating & difficult it is to not ‘cruise’ in congested Green Lane or any other autobahn. From north to south (3 binchui islands), the 2 combo of super high end homes + wide autobahns will definitely help Ah Piang & greedy developers.
Who cares for the bo bin-chui Penang Lang?

benny

NGO should also demo against RM2.6bil and not just 16 replanted trees.

John D Weatherley

Obviously not Penang?

Yeap

If he is so concern about the fate of the trees perhaps he should go find out when they transplant the trees, which I did and they are doing fine, during the whole process. If he is concern if this helps, he should find out from the traffic statistics of related department.

zoro

Of course it is no longer Green Lane. The name has been changed by Gelakan umno Gomen to jln masjid to highlight the religion of the country. The road just reflect the changed name.

Those penangkias on the mainland must be very happy. They seem quiet and no issues. Move over to mainland and rest in peace.

lim

Penang people are being famous for ” kau peh kau bor ” !!! However, please leave the tress alone, we need them. One big tree is equivalent to ten airconditioners !!! I think that stretch of widening does not bring much meaning anyway…

benny

Ecco member Chow Kon Yeow said, “Maybe some trees need to be fell while some will be transplant. However, MBPP needs to listen to the pedestrians and also vehicles users. We have to find the right balance. Therefore, we will approach the matter by minimising the number of trees that need to be fell and also transplant them when possible.” “In this case, MBPP has engaged an arborist or what you would call a ‘Tree doctor’ to survey and inspect the trees. Although it was reported that 33 trees will be fell, only 18 trees may be involved. As at… Read more »

Lau

Trees at the side of road of course is good, but we don’t have to insist on keeping trees which is causing problem, such as fallen tree trunk on pedestrian or motorbike rider or car driver during thunderstorm. If trees are important to Penangite then they should be educated and encouraged to keep trees in their compound wherever possible, not concreting every inch of their car porch or lawn. Just go over to taman on both side of Green Lane you will notice many tree planted by municipal authority were poisoned by resident because they think it create bad funsui,… Read more »

lim

Lau, that is the job of the council to take care, to trim the branches if they pose danger.

tunglang

If trees kill (humans), then don’t have Botanic Gardens!
How about building more pedestrian tunnels (for safety & cleaner air)?

Gwynn Jenkins

HOT

lim

Protest !!! We want the green !!!