Selangor to introduce bicycle lanes

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Selangor is setting the early pace: Kuala Kubu Bharu could have bicycle lanes by December, followed by PJ and Shah Alam. How about Penang, Kinta Valley and JB?

This thing about cycle lanes should go well beyond tokenism and instead should be expanded into a well-planned network that would encourage people to leave their cars and motorbikes at home.

Selangor Times reports:

Bike lanes coming to Selangor

HULU SELANGOR: Kuala Kubu Bharu will become the first town in Selangor with its own designated bike lanes by December, with Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam likely to follow suit soon.

Executive councillor Elizabeth Wong told Selangor Times the Hulu Selangor District Council, in its July full board meeting, had approved a proposal to construct bike lanes around Kuala Kubu Bharu.

“Kuala Kubu Bharu will serve as a pilot project. If it is successful, the Petaling Jaya mayor is also keen to build bike lanes around the city [to reduce traffic congestion and the city’s carbon footprint],” said Wong in a phone interview.

Wong said Shah Alam is another city that has the potential to transform itself into a biking city as its development over the years has been more controlled and organised.

Selangor is mirroring a worldwide trend where major cities including London, Paris and Washington, DC are taking various steps to promote cycling as the preferred mode of transport.

Apart from constructing bike lanes, Wong said Selangor and relevant local governments will be amending their laws and by-laws to ensure cyclists’ safety on the road.

“Safety is our number-one concern. So, for example, we plan to introduce penalties for those who endanger cyclists by parking their vehicles on bicycle routes,” said Wong.

She added that public education and campaigns are needed to educate road users to be considerate to cyclists on the road. Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim warming up with participants of the Run for Peace in Taman Klang Jaya last Sunday.

Hulu Selangor district councillor Chua Yee Ling told Selangor Times the state government, district council and the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research are very supportive of Kuala Kubu Bharu’s bike lane project.

Chua said an estimated RM800,000 will be needed to implement the project, which will be sponsored by the state.

“Currently many local residents choose to drive, even for short journeys, to schools or town because it can be dangerous to cycle with inconsiderate car drivers on the road.

“With designated bike lanes [separated from the main road], it’ll be safer for children to cycle to schools and residents to cycle to town,” said Chua when met at Kuala Kubu Bharu.

She said parking spaces will be provided in public places such as schools, bus stations, post offices and markets for cyclists to park their bikes.

The Public Works Department has yet to finalise the bicycle route, but it is expected to connect the town centre, SJK (T) Kuala Kubu Bharu, SJK (C) Khing Ming and SMK Kuala Kubu Bharu Bestari Perdana with residential areas like Taman Pesara, Taman Seruling, and Chinese new village Kampung Asam Kumbang.

Chua expects the move to reduce the number of cars on the road and traffic congestion during peak hours in town.

“For short-distance travel, cycling is actually better than driving because it saves time, petrol, reduces your carbon footprint and is healthier,” she said.

Existing bike lanes surrounding vernacular school SJK (C) Khing Ming will be incorporated into the new bicycle route as well.

However, Chua pointed out that Putrajaya, Jonker Street in Malacca and Georgetown in Penang have their own bike lanes, but local residents do not make use of them due to a lack of promotion by the authorities.

To avoid such failure in its bike lane project, Chua said the district council will launch a strong campaign to publicise its bike lanes and encourage residents and schoolchildren to cycle.

“We’ll educate the public on traffic and safety rules for cyclists, and join hands with bike shops to have promotions or discounts for bicycle purchases,” said Chua.

Early last month, Petaling Jaya mayor Datuk Roslan Sakiman expressed interest in building bike lanes around the city.

Roslan, who started cycling to work last month, told the press that designated bicycle routes are needed to make cycling safer and more convenient for the public.

The mayor urged residential associations or local organisations that are keen to have bike lanes in their area to submit proposals to the city council so that the council would have a better gauge of the public’s interest in the initiative.

Speaking of KKB, the town’s attractions could do with some sprucing up and promotion. The place has some interesting picnic spots near streams, a waterfall, and a hot water spring. The place also needs a better equipped library and more tree-planting.

KKB was once a lush green town full of trees and shrubs bursting with wild colourful flowers. Spacious fields and a continuous flow of breeze added to the gentle charm. But now, sadly and most unfortunately, concrete has been poured all over, turning the town into a gigantic microwave oven.

And Penang? Well, Penang plans to go car-free on three roads on Sundays – Church Street, Beach Street and Bishop Street. Perhaps this could pave the wave for larger sections of George Town to be closed to cars not only on Sundays but other days as well. See Malaysian Insider report here.

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Lynn

Selangor shld have one car-free day per month, encourage people to walk or bicycle. Try it out just once – if no cars on the road, temperature will drop by a few degrees. Not to mention lesser dust. I hope we can have bicycle lanes minus the snatch thieves (motorbikes) but enforcement must be tough on people who ride motorbikes on these lanes, and please, do NOT allow those pesky kids to ride their little bikes in these public lanes!

James W

I believe that cycle lanes are a great way forward. Not only will it reduce congestion for short journey, it reduces fuel consumption & save time as well compared to being stuck in traffic congestion for hours. Many townships today are built with motor vehicles in mind making it unsafe for cyclist. Town planners ought to start thinking about moving people around rather than moving cars around. Look at Puchong, all the highways & more lanes being planned but yet congestion will remain. If more people use bicycles, there’s less need to spend millions on highway & toll. More lanes… Read more »

Adam Mohd Alias

I want i want bicycle lanes!! Ppl r getting fat includin me just driving around. I wish theres plenty of mrt stations to cate my need for free drivig life! Sigh

K. Rajendran

I am writing from Copenhagen where I am on a holiday. It is a safe place to walk around as the roads have designated pedestrian lanes on the outer side of the road. Next to it along the inner side is the bicycle lanes. Next along the middle are the vehicle lanes. Bicycles have to observe the traffic lights just as the vehicles. Pedestrians can only cross at designated pedestrian crossings which are at road jubctions. Bicycle parking bays are provided throughout the city to leave your bicycle and continue your journey by Metro train. Every morning I observe a… Read more »

passion1

Its definitely a good idea. However, the Malaysian climate is the deterrent to cycling.
Pakatan state government should start planting shady trees along the cycling paths.
What about the safety of the cyclists? Malaysia is not like Amsterdam, or any European countries, where the citizens are very civic minded.
In these countries, a girl can cycle home alone, safely.

Gerakan K

RM800,000 soon to be wasted. Why this pakatan govt always do not know the people wishes ???

Who want the lane ??? Satu lagi projek tak masuk akal !!!

Ahmad Syafiq

I saw the benefits of a bicycle lane in Melbourne. People can cycle safely to their destinations, while seeing a reduction in cars on the road. And towards a more sustainable development, I agree with the state govt’s implementation of these bicycle lanes. It’s a welcomed move so to speak.

Deen

Do not simply follow these countries.

if they have a hot weather like ours, likely for them to drive in the comfort of air-cond cars.

I support cycling but it will not be feasible in the Proton-influnced public.

Leithaisor

I used to enjoy a lot of shade from the trees lining my road. But one by one they either died from disease / neglect and were not replaced, or worse, chopped down by heroes who thought it affected their feng shui, security or dropped too many leaves around their gates. Seems a higher percentage of yuppies are allergic to greenery compared to those of the older generations.. I tried replanting one spot nearest my home a few times, but the growing saplings were murdered every time. Guess who the vandals were? Same story in many urban areas I think.… Read more »

Yang

Frankly speaking I don`t know what to say of you. You are either an idiot or an ignorant guy or just opposing for the sake of opposing. With bicycle or bike lane it reduces congestion and accidents on the road. Spending RM800,000 to reduce congestion, accidents and death is better than having the money that goes into the pockets of cronies just like the BN UMNO government.

tunglang

When you mentioned Satu Lagi Projek, it has to precisely mean Barang Naiki’s, not Pakatan, masuk akal tak?

Satu Lagi Mentaliti Gelakan ala Pulo Panang!

Eric

It is ridiculous to criticize a good initiative to safe money, nature (the air you breath) and advocate good health. This fraction of money spent is of much better used as compared to build a “bridge bengkok” in Johor, or for GLC dumping into a bad investment or another PKFZ or etc etc…. Driving in cars create emision, traffic jam, noise pollution, more importantly, your son or daughter will be all obese…. no sense of nature appreciation under your guidance. Do not critic for the sake of opening your mouth… Many of your politic wanna-be open mouth for the sake… Read more »