Bicycle lanes for Penang – by 2020


Bicycle lanes around Penang Island by 2020 – now this is welcome news. But why do we need to wait a decade to have bicycle lanes? 

Why not a lot sooner? I would think that building a second bridge by 2013, a tunnel and highways and all that land reclamation within a few years are a lot more difficult than introducing bicycle lanes. It all boils down to political will and what are your priorities – private motor vehicles or sustainable transport?

Some time ago, during the BN administration, bicycle lanes were demarcated in town and on the approach roads to the Botanic Garden via Gottlieb Road. A consultant based in Seri studied the possible routes. I met him and he sounded enthusiastic. But there was no political will to promote their use and widen the scope of the routes. Instead the emphasis on private motor vehicles continued and the vision of bicycle lanes and routes was reduced to mere tokenism.

The clamour for bicycle lanes is growing louder. Some 3000 cyclists took part in the Campaign for a Cycle Lane 2011 at the Esplanade today.

Very timely too. We desperately need to shift away from private motor vehicle use.

What about bus lanes? When can we make a start there? And how can we promote wider use of buses? Subsidising bus fares and coming up with more affordable monthly season tickets, and making them easily available, would be a good start.

This report from theSun:

GEORGE TOWN (Sept 11, 2011): The Penang state government is considering a proposal to set up bicycle lanes around the island by 2020.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the state plans to construct the bicycle lane along the coast – from the Second Penang Bridge in Batu Maung to Teluk Bahang.

“However, this vision cannot materialise so soon as it is an uphill task,” he said, expressing hope that relevant organisations could come forward and help in brain-storming to come up with some ideas.

“We hope that by doing so, Penang can be propelled not only as a bicycle destination in Southeast Asia, but one in the Asian region as well,” he said in his speech at the flag off, of the Campaign for a Cycle Lane (third edition) 2011 at the Esplanade here this morning.

More than 3,000 cyclist braved the early morning showers, to cycle some 80km around the island in this event organised by the G Club Penang cyclists, the Rotary Club of Tanjong Bungah and funded by CIMB Foundation.

Some 40% of the participants were foreigners from neighbouring countries including Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia. Lim, who also took part in the event by cycling half the distance, encouraged the public to participate in this healthy activity.

“Perhaps certain bodies can organise more bicycle tours to take in the natural beauty around the island,” he said.

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Kaki tangan Penang can go ‘lawatan sambil belajar’ to learn from Singapore’s Pasir Ris

A 1.1km path – with separate lanes for cyclists and pedestrians – was rolled out in Pasir Ris on Sunday. Instead of sharing with pedestrians an old 1m-wide footpath, cyclists now have their own lane on a path that has doubled in width.


I was having my ‘teh halia’ when I notice a poster on the wall.
(One) brand of battery operated bike is in the assembly line very soon. the assembly line is in Lukut, near Port Dickson.


Every malay has been btnized to believe in Proton.

They will not take a step back to cycle again.


Recently I visited Hangzhou and I was blown away by the re-engineering of the city. The road was wide and clean. There was a wide lane for bicycles and motor cycles. The motor cycles are almost all electrified. There is also another wide lane for pedestrian. There are trees everywhere providing shade. The city claimed it has 6 trees for every resident. The roads are beautifully landscaped with flowers and grass.

Now. Why cant Penang be like that?


BTW. Hangzhou has a population of 6 million. But one do not feel crowded. The city is build around a large inland lake. Because of the economy is based on the ecology of the lake, the city govt had gone on a massive drive to educate the people on taking care of the environment. I went on boat ride on the lake. Guess what? I cannot find a single Styrofoam container or plastic bag on the water. That was truly amazing.

I cannot imagine the water around Penang that is clean and without the plastic bags.


Our people still believe Malaysia is better than China in GDP, civility, infrastructure, etc. That is a tragic perception.

They build MRT for facilitating public transport, while we build MRT for kickback, non-tender contracts for cronies and land grabs.


For public shared bicycle system, China is a world leader. See this link on Hangzhou. Can it be implemented here?

Syiok Syiok

Penang or RapidPenang can learn from Hangzhou City Council.
At famous West Lake area, there are bicycles provided cycle around the lake while the bus stands are world class showing (GPRS?) the time the next bus would be arriving !
There are lanes for bikes, pedestrians and motor vehicles. We are talking about an ancient yet cultural city with modern facilites.
If you plan to go to China, Hangzhou comes close to Beijing in terms of wonders.


I think before we go to having dedicated bicycle lane, how about more dedicated motorbike lanes? The only visible motorcycle lanes on the island today are along Tun Dr Lim Chong Yew expressway, from Macalum Street area to the TNB power station and on the extended Penang Bridge.

Driving to one’s destination on a motorcycle offers one of the best fuel efficiencies mode of transportation. Many of us wouldn’t mind traveling in one if our roads could be made safer for its use.


I think it is because everyone knows motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than cars. However, in city commute, motorcycles reach their destinations certainly faster than any other mode of transportation. If traveling in a motorcycles can be made safer through the smart provision of dedicated lanes, this can be a good way to solve many of our transportive miseries. Bicycling may be a good form of exercise. However, bicycling to work on a sweaty day? I don’t think this will ever work. If 2 stoke engines are polluting, I think some mechanism can be found to tax them out of… Read more »


It’s far too time consuming riding a bicycle and taking feeder buses to one’s final destination.

Imagine having to spend an additional 30~60mins a day on a bus everyday. One could waste a full 2 ~3 years throughout one’s lifetime.

semuanya OK kot

Futher to what Anil said, 2-stroke engine bikes are very polluting (GHG) and unhealthy (poisons).


Anil, I think Penang should approve and introduce the use of battery operated bicycle.
In view of the weather of our country, using a battery powered bicycle would be practical.
The study by Mimos( correct name?) is taking too long. Waiting for crony company to be sole importer, most probably(?)


Plus Petronas profitable profiting from ‘no choice’ Rakyat until the last drop of premium oil for export to buy low grade oil for us fools.

Syiok Syiok

Anil Good to start forum on bike lane. Foremost, the basic pedestrian walk is way not up to mark in in 5-Star tourist spots like right outisde Rasa Sayang Resorts. How to impress money-spending -benefit-rakyat tourists to then even walk along the famous “boulevards” of Penang (Namely MaCalister Road, Burmah Road, Anson Road, Penang Road, etc) without watching out for the hazardous unevenness pavements, protruding structures (eg nails, wires etc), missing sinkholes covers etc etc etc ? DAP may have impressed the Penangites. Assuming they get the mandate from GE13 to administer Penang, they should start provide visible plans to… Read more »


LGE said there is a plan for pedestrian pavement.

I hope he not telling voters let vote PR in GE13 if you people want such facility.

As usual, PR government cannot come out a decent project timeline plan.


Battery operated bicycle in China is a silent killer.
It quickly accelerates to maximum bicycle speed but comes with a braking system and a tyre width not much different from an ordinary bicycle.

Moreover, it is as silent as any pedaled bicycle.
It is certainly a menace to pedestrians.

Andrew I

I hear cycling is very popular in the UK. Time to sell the BM, Gherkin.

My friend in Singapore cycled to MRT station b4 boarding, this was happened at about 10 years ago.

Singapore is more land scarce than Penang by population density, yet they can manage to allocate land for bicycle land.

PAP people do more than talk, but DAP people talk more than do.

LGE should also promise Penagites MRT by 2050, by the time he maybe already meeting his creator.

Building a bicycle lane takes 10 year, I am total speechless…

Syiok Syiok

Lawatan Sambil Belajar to Singapore ?

Bus from Prangin Mall to Woodlands only RM70-RM90.

Surely our YBs can afford that ?

Come back and write a report on what we can learn from our prosperous neighbour. If rakyat see the report is encouraging, then rakyat can finance next YBs trip by AirAsia planes.


If drawing 2 yellow lines on a narrow road is what it takes to make bicycle lanes in many parts of Singapore, please spare us the sorrow should a bus or lorry ram into those cyclists.


I thought your reader is so smart to prove me wrong with evidence, it ends up “no parking” line is his bicycle lane in Singapore. What else I can say more about such comment?

This is like PR idiots trumpeted that LGE allows public members to read the contract is transparency.


Do you think Singapore government and its people are doing such donkey work like you see in Bolehland?

If you cannot comment like a matured man, please spare us from your nonsense evidence.


Yup .. you are right about the 2 yellow lines not being bicycle lanes.

Apparently the bicycle lanes with the words “PCN” printed on them are also accessible by buses ie. shared by buses, being previously delineated bus lanes.


I saw bicycle signs on the roads in the George town, that was similar to your “yellow line bicycle lane”.

That kind of shared lane is dangerous for riders.

Gerakan K

Malaysia panaslah. Berbasikal dalam cuaca Malaysia seolah-olah macam orang gila !!! Lagipun basikal mana ada air con’d ???


Do you expect air-cond indoor bicycle lanes? BN may be able to provide you such facility if you continue to cheer them up before Malaysia is bankrupt.

Do you know there is a natural thing called tree? You can walk comfortably on any road or bicycle lane in Singapore because they know trees are free air-cond unlike you.


Gerakan K, go wear a singlet the next time you go cycling. Get Pagoda Brand which is cheap, cotton and easily dried after a sweaty exercise. If really Phai Seh to wear Pagoda in public, go anonymous with a pair of pointed Ray Ban sun glasses ala Lat’s cartoon style! No need to hide face and head like an ostrich.
Cycling will then be a joy in previously Gerakan territory.

Aiyoyo…LGE please come out 1-year short-term, 5-year middle-term and 10-year long-term plans instead of a blanket 10-year plan.

This kind of plan is like Najib telling us Malaysia wants to send astronaut to moon by 2050.

Syiok Syiok

nkkhoo now has personal grudges over LGE because of “rakyat RM50 million in sPICE venture” matter ? Either he is barking right or may be led to bark wrongly by his 3rd Force Sifu ???
Anil can investigate and put a decent closure to this RM50 million issue.


MPPP or LGE (LGE overstepped MPPP) said three companies bidded for the project. Did LGE show you the other bidders’ offers when you met up with MPPP and LGE some times ago? IF LGE is talking transparency, he should also list down other two biddings (the companies name can be omitted) for people to see SP Setia is truly the best bidder or not. Display a signed contract for public to read is not transparency, is a political stunt. In the end, the whole sPICE bidding and tender process is no different with BN … no open tender system because… Read more »


Gerakan lawyer revealed the new investment is RM250 million after reading the contract in Komtar, is less than 50 million as reported in the news earlier.

Maybe LGE decided to withdraw the public fund?

If so, Anil you are the first contributor to pressure LGE with the help of my nonstop whining. LOL

This guy has nothing to contribute except only Ah Gee and Ah Jo. He is very sore about his missing $50m. PAP takes about 50 years to built bicycle lanes but I do not see them in Kereta Ayer, Joo chiat, Buona Vista and many roads. When PAP comes to power, they ask an American traffic consultant and he recommend improving the bus as it can manage for another 10 years. But LKY go ahead and built the MRT and it was good because the recession came. Then there was a ride and park when car park was created at… Read more »


Are u telling me PAP fails a good government after 46 years?

I only know after PAP government talked about the bucycle plan plan and within a year or two, some bicycle lanes were built.

Keep on telling people that PR needs 10 years for bicycle, another 10 years for pedestrian pathway, and another 10 years for bus lanes.


PAP is both state, cityhall and federal government. PAP’s has more than 12 months reserve which means they can just import for their needs without export. PAP has been in power for so many years and when they comes in power, they cut down all the hills like Bukit Merah, REDHILL, Bukit Timah and reclaim all the wetlands and chased all the local people in other small islands and reclaim them into a big satellite island. For more than 50 years PAP has not time to build bicycle lanes because they are too slow for doing business. They are building… Read more »


Imagine going to work or on business: walk to nearest bus stop, hop into Rapid bus, travel to bus terminal, hop out of Rapid, change mode of transport, rent a bicycle to maneuver around town, reach office or client’s office, finish business, get onto bicycle, ride along narrow streets or short cut by back lanes to favorite kopitiam or cafe, meet friends or old flame, finish with old flame, cycle to Komtar to do some errants, ride to nearby Thye Huat Hardware for cheap stuff, ride to favorite kopitiam for lunch, give back bicycle, hop into Rapid, finally reach home.… Read more »

Syiok Syiok

Let’s be rationale. Do it step by step. First improve RapidPernang service to be more predictable (need to stress that RapidPenang has improved since 2007 but the pace must be ramped up faster). Also monthly pass which many reraders have recommended to be too steep now – need to be ~RM30-50 to get people to have paradyme switch from autocars to public transport. Less cars on the road when users switch to buses, then we can move on to talk about safer bicycle ride on the roads. OPS SIKAP has repeatedly told us negligent drivers caused death on the road;… Read more »


Many back lanes in the inner city of George Town are being ‘tidy up’ for cycling. Some tour agencies are already considering using these routes for their cycle tour itinerary. So tourists can move around in safety and comfort since these back lanes are quite breezy with good natural air flow due to the prewar houses configuration and town planning. I can foresee back lanes as safe ‘conduit’ / short cuts for ‘soft’ traffic like cycling in the inner city. And maybe some graffiti art of early Penang settlers in daily chores or cultural lifestyle will make back lanes of… Read more »


Basically you do not need a private car in Singapore to move around unless you want come to Malaysia for holidays.

Even PAP government is so good in providing basic infrastructure, its 40% voters still say PAP is no good enough.

Here when PR government shows you a signed contract, some people already jumping up and down … to shout this is transparency.

semuanya OK kot

Don’t put the bicycle in the same category as motor or public transport. It is the most efficient form invented. Learn about its popularity in Western Europe (except UK and France). The layout and design of our cities and housing estates is part of the mentality of ceaseless growth, consumption and destruction that makes the use of biccycles so difficult compared to 50+ years ago.

Aranda Del Rio

Here is a dedication to all ‘orang biasa’ in Penang:

Basikal Tua by Sudirman.

James Tee

Buy a bicycle now, so that by 2020 it will become basikal tua and you can ride on it and sing the song as orang biasa.

Ahmad Syafiq

Probably due to complicated road planning? Once you already construct roads without including the bicycle lanes from the start, and you don’t leave any flexibility for alternative plans of the road, then it is very, very hard. Australia has provided a lot of bicycle lanes and bus lanes because they’ve already considered and built it from the start, rather than building/providing it later. But, nonetheless, it’s a good start of things to come, hopefully.

Not a single bicycle lane in Singapore in 90s. Now their bicycle lanes are all over the island.

If there is a will, then there is mean to do…our politicians are “politikus” with no interest to serve rakyat, power grasp is their main objective…

Agree with you that bicycle lanes should be include in the first place. To add bicycle lanes into existing road, you have motorists cursing as they occupy spaces for the car. What is the point if there is only one cyclist is using the road space as compare to hundreds of 4 wheel vehicles and hundreds of 2 wheel motors? The bicyle lanes will turn into motorcycle lanes in Penang. Unless there is a cylce organisation and promote the daily and regular use of bicyle, then creating bicyle lanes in existing road is not justified as it takes up the… Read more »

Gerakan K

Itu pun mau tanyakah, Anil ??? Roket mau kamu semua undi mereka sehingga 2020 !!!

Buat janji manis dulu (macam kes Kg Buah Pala), samada boleh buat atau tidak itu kira kemudian. Sudah biasa dengan taktik mereka !!!

Apa-apa pun, jangan kena tipu dua kali sudah cukup !!!

You hit it right….do not believe empty promise from PR.

Anyway I prefer no project from BN, more projects mean more money (for the) BN(people).


KB Pala janji telah di buat. RM500,000 rumah sekarang sudah RM850,000


Do you want to lose your ancestral land for a terrace house?

Syiok Syiok

RM850,000 new home can alleviate the cost of livings for the next 2 generations of the recipients in barang naik era. Can even put up an elaborate ancestral shrine in front of the home. What to complaint ?