Dedicated bicycle lanes: Go for bold pilot project


Cycling as a commute requires a bold move that is connected to something bigger. Not a half-baked patched-up idea in piecemeal dressed up with lots of PR, writes blog visitor Islandjoe.

I don’t see why a proper bike lane needs to share with motorcyclists. That is pointless. It is not the case in Europe. The reason bicycles need a dedicated lane is due to the speed at which they travel. Motorbikes have the capacity to travel at the speed of motorcars so if more likely to be in tune with the traffic flow. The biggest danger to bicycles is that even at 60km/h speed limits, bikes are much slower and become a hindrance to the traffic flow and consequently a big hazard.

But I certainly agree on the point of defensive cycling, regardless of the existence of a dedicated cycling lane not.

On the point that the MPPP engineers have voiced out that it should be proven that we have enough cyclists BEFORE putting dedicated bicycle lanes is totally ludicrous. That is why engineer are engineers and leaders should have LEADERSHIP. Asking these council engineers to have any sort of vision is obviously a waste of time judging from their response. They are at best implementers but seeing the current condition of our streets (poor lane planning, potholes, haphazard street markings, faded street markings), they are not even good implementers.

On the point of asking cyclists to zig zag around back streets, that is also far from a solution. You can’t effectively commute across the island on back streets.

All these points raised so far show how we as a community don’t get it. This cycling as a commute requires a bold move that is connected to something bigger. Not a half baked patched up idea in piecemeal dressed up with lots of PR. Right now this is what it sounds like. When you hear the voices from those around the government and council, you can read between the lines that they don’t have the passion nor the endeavour to make it work.

I would suggest the following for the state government. Don’t bother with an island wide dedicated bicycle lanes. Go with a small pilot project which can suit the timid small-idea team (work with what you’ve got).

For example:

Put one that say connects the Queensbay area along the Lim Chong Eu Expressway with Georgetown (I understand a developer was going to do a partial one). And if possible, connect Sunshine Sq area to Queensbay. Even from Queensbay to the FTZ which isn’t far. Make sure its done properly and captures some of these residential areas (properly marked, properly maintained, with proper classy signage). If it looks like the East Coast route like in Singapore (but without pedestrian traffic as its dangerous to share the lane with bikes), people will certainly use it for recreation as a start with some hardcore cyclists at the beginning using it to commute to work sometimes. As for using it to commute for the masses, that will depend on workplaces having shower or changing facilities for it to make sense. Plus have safe bike parking facilities. So the council will need to find a way to encourage workplaces to get on board – starting with government buildings, factories, and the larger corporations, then working their way down.

So we can see that even on a limited basis, there is a lot to be done. But if they can make it work, they have a basis to expand. If not, then there is a good recreational safe cycling track that covers a decent route. If they want to have a bikeshare programme, then there is enough to connect some residential areas with the FTZ and town.

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20 Jan 2014 5.04pm

The Bicycle Sharing in George Town heritage enclave serve another purpose. That is to provide alternative transport option for those who traveled with the electrical train. The KL to Butterworth electrical train project will be completed within this year. The commuters will most likely end up using the ferry to go to the island. The Bicycle sharing come in handy as an alternative mode of transport. There are way to make cycling safe from Jetty to Komtar. Without the effort to have the Bicycle Sharing facilities in place who will spend the effort to improve the safety aspect of cycling?… Read more »

20 Jan 2014 3.51pm

The best place to bicycle in Penang is in Pulau Tikus. Pulau Tikus have a lot of small roads or lanes which is suitable for cycling without the need to have dedicated lanes. Anyone who is against cycling in Pulau Tikus must be the one who is out of touch with the locality. Surprisingly this Pulau Tikus state assemblywoman still can’t stop her stupid quarreling with Lim Mah Hui over their disagreement on petty issues. Lim Mah Hui should just ignore this crazy woman. There is nothing productive from the quarreling. I am the person who is behind the public… Read more »

16 Jan 2014 11.02am

Check out this statistic . Pedestrian are 3 times more likely to be kill on road than a cyclist. motorcyclist fatalities are 21 times of cyclist. Car driver death rates are 8 times higher than cyclist. All this number varies from countries to countries, but globally, it seems even in country that promotes cycling, cyclist fatalities are still lower than pedestrian. So what is all this mean. My own “not so scientific” conclusion : – Cyclist low mass and low speed cannot cause much harm to pedestrian – Cyclist feels vulnerable, so they ride carefully. – Fake sense of… Read more »