Car-free streets proposal for Penang


Moving in the right direction, the local government in Penang could soon introduce car-free streets in George Town.

The MPPP is planning to turn Beach Street, Bishop Street and Church Street into car-free streets from 5.00m 7.00am to 5.00pm (or possibly 7.00pm) every Sunday. (Read this Insider report.)

Only trishaws, bicycles, wheelchairs and pedestrians – but not motorbikes and cars – would be allowed. Bicycles are of course environmentally friend, as this photo on the Sierra website suggests.

A meet-and-greet will be held between the local government and the public on 2 November to solicit public views on this proposal.

Let’s hope the car-free zones will be extended to more streets and not just on Sundays. The state must have a clear plan as to how to extend this proposal to more areas while the public should chip in by trying to make this pilot proposal work. RapidPenang must complement this car-free network as well.

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Not a good idea as time alloted is too long, esp for Beach Street when some people only have time to do some banking on Sundays.

Very inconvenient. Do you know that the jam is very long on peak days at the pier ?


I’m not very sure whether the duration from 5am ~5pm is a little bit too long.

I would say making “Little India” a car-free zone would gain more success than Beach St. Little India is by far more happening than Beach St. Local shoppers and tourists would appreciate a safer and hassle free walking street.


could be mission impossible as the biz shopowners want motor vehicles to roam so that they can upload/offload goods as well as lazy penangites who have heavy legs that cannot even walk a 100 metres in open daylight !


where do pedestrian get to offload themselves from vehicles outside the zoned areas ?

i think we need licensed tuk-tuk like small green taxis (electric not patrol run) to ferry pedestrians so that they can enjoy the heritage scenes.

concurrently, MPPP needs to plant more shady trees for comfortable walk from the scorching sun !

also, PLS no parked motorbikes or extended stalls by the kaki-lima ! enforcement needed, right Anil ?


Bukit Bintang did that and failed big time some years back.
It was due to poor planning and lack of knowledge by the dbkl , traffic police and tourism ministry. Study their previous failure and look into ways to make it a success.
They forgot all about tourist with luggage waiting for their bus pickup from the numerous hotels here, motorcycle fast food delivery, Alam Flora garbage trucks and petty traders coming in vans to set up their stalls.
It was a bright idea but without proper planning (as usual).


Besides being car-free, these old-world streets can be hubs of arts & cultural activities to make them meaningful. Bring in the Chinese medicine men with kung fu stunt shows (like what used to be at Goh Pha Teng). Also allow Ori-Maestros to open stalls for the Tham Chiak Kuis like me to enjoy an evening walk and makan-makan in heritage ambience. Some performing artists can act/dress in old world charm period fashion to create a surreal passage of time back to the past of multi-cultural society of Indians, Malays, Chinese, Siamese and Eurasians. And what about bullock carts with the… Read more »

Sze tho

For once, I humbly agree. Car free pedestrian malls/street are a common feature in most Australian cities. It is a boon for shops as well, because people are able to stroll and look at leisure in larger numbers compared to our cramped pavements and traffic filled streets. I think if successful models such as these are shown to local shop/property owners ,they may give their support.


MPPP will need public input & support in this.
Public will can use beca to reach those shops in the car-free zone. Beca man gets more income, Georgetown greener (at least once a week). win-win, i say


Sure, the first group of people going to protest is businessman along those street.