Pedal power could be making a comeback in George Town.
According to George Town World Heritage Inc general manager Maimunah Mohd Sharif, greening in Penang will not be limited to trees. “We want to do something with George Town’s back lanes so cyclists can use them,” she told The Edge. “Cycling is coming back to the city. The back lanes will definitely be of use to them, so this is greening George Town in another way to reduce carbon emissions.”
Well said and worthy of support! I hope such plans will be extended throughout the state, not just George Town.
As for the planting of trees, the GTWHI is also looking at Jalan Kampung Kolam, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling (Pitt Street), Jalan Padang Kota Lama and open spaces like that at the end of Armenian Street.
Incidentally, the cost of the shrubs and 58 trees (a friend of mine counted!) along Carnarvon Street came up to RM76,000, borne by Khazanah. (The Edge reported that GTWHI lacked funds, so it approached Think City. Does MPPP lack funds for greening the island? It seems to have plenty of funds for PICC.)
Instead of all these ad hoc approaches, it is time for MPPP to set up a proper Landscaping Unit and not putting it under Perancang (Planning) or Engineering (that’s where the decorative lighting – sometimes ‘over the top’, fountains, etc come in). A present, the Kebun section is mainly concerned with grass-cutting and tree pruning.
A new beefed-up MPPP Landscaping or Parks and Gardens Unit would allow all landscaping matters to be taken care of properly and competently. It would do away with the present ad hoc approach of applying for federal funding for small landscaping projects or of the MPPP having to follow up with JKR to get things done.
In the meantime, share with us what you think of cycling in George Town. Do you remember a time when a lot more people used to cycle all over Penang? What was it like?