Friday, January 31, 2014

World Transport Policy & Practice – Vol. 20, No. 1

This issue of World Transport Policy and Practice opens the journal's 20th year UK- Alan-Babit-Trmour-enhanced-red light downof  consistent commitment to sustainable transport, which embraces the urgent need to cut global emissions of carbon dioxide, to reduce the amount of new infrastructure of all kinds and to highlight the importance of future generations, the poor, those who live in degraded environments and those deprived of human rights by planning systems that put a higher importance on economic objectives than on the environment and social justice.

The lead editorial by founding editor John Whitelegg  reports on the wrong-headed intensification of the mobility paradigm which is now firmly locked into a very strong, highly destructive  infrastructure fetish.  Articles by Jeff Kenworthy (Australia) , Nguyen Thi Cat Tuong (Vietnam), John Baptist Gauci (Malta), and the team of Mary Surridge, Cathy Green, Dynes Kaluba and Victor Simfukwe (Zambia) complete this latest edition of the Journal.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Does carsharing promote balanced and sustainable economic growth?

The short off the cuff answer is: yes definitely. But let us dig deeper.

car-pollutionThe answer becomes even more self-evident if you turn the question around and ask: does an automobile-lifestyle promote balanced and sustainable economic growth. We all know the answer to that one.

A well thought-out carsharing policy -- which incidentally is not really possible unless you first have a well thought out overall mobility strategy – – will make a contribution to promoting balanced and sustainable economic growth. How is that?

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Why buses represent democracy in action

Enrique Peñalosa, former mayor of Bogotá, was  responsible for introducing a number of in terms of transportation and public space innovations. In this short video he  talks here about buses versus cars (really people v. cars) and the experience of Bogotá in giving clear preference to buses with their now world-famous Transmilenio  (BRT) mass transit system. As mayor  he also introduced a number of innovations including land-use, parks and public space projects as well as Bogotá's Bike Paths Network. If you listen to his talk you will see the very large number of issues and themes which relates to the situation in Penang today. Let's see what we can learn from Bogotá.

[ted id=1886]

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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Sustainable Penang Phase 2: Implementation (2014/15)

malaysia penang bike street markingThe 2014 objective is to identify, prepare and implement specific reforms and projects that can be brought online and already start to show results in the year ahead. (Time horizon as selected by State Government for near-term measures and reforms set out in Transport Master Plan Strategy.)

The key implementing agencies will be the State Government and the two Municipal Councils – MPPP  and MPSP -- coordinating with the Penang Transport Council. The project is accompanied by Think City and supported by the International Advisory Network of EcoPlan International and World Streets. The key lies in the active engagement of Civil Society Partners in Penang (NGOs, universities, researchers and consultants, media, bloggers, local associations, concerned citizens).

- - > See full Executive Summary at

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

when trying to write

when trying to write
haikus on mobility
you have to stand still

- Khoo Salma, Penang Heritage Trust
street crossing ladu waiting Haiku

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Media: “Penang’s transport system inefficient, says expert”

The following article appeared Malaysiakini, the most read independent news website offering daily news and views in English, Malay, Chinese and Tamil. Reproduced here in its entirety, it is  can be consulted directly from the source at The reader may find some interest in the diversity of views expressed in the Comments which also are reproduced here.

maylasie traffic jam from Malaysia

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

A New Moblity Agenda for the Vision Impaired in Penang

In the context of the Sustainable Penang/New Mobility 2014 program, the key to the success of the project lies in the identification and eventual Penang St Nicholas Home logopreparation and implementation of specific, practical, relatively low cost concepts and measures which give more importance to non-motorized transport and public transportation than to the traditional uses of the private car. One of the ideas that came up early in the Focus Group  brainstorming sessions was that of providing voice announcements for the blind and others with visual impairments on the new Rapid Penang bus services being developed across the state. In the following excellent article prepared by the local NGO Saint Nicolas Home we see how thoroughly they are looking at the problems of mobility and access for the visually impaired. Thus it is not surprising that Saint Nicolas Home is emerging as one of the most engaged champions of this collaborative project for 2014.  (We shall be seeing more about that project shortly here.)

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Sustainable Penang: Phase 1 Summary Report

Click here for the latest version of the Phase 1 summary report which is Maylasia Penang pred crossing in traffic Pulau Tikusintended at this point for information and comment by collaborators and others who have indicated their interest in following the Penang New Mobility project.  The summary quickly reviews the initial organization and plan for the project, and progress in the second half of 2013. It also sets out the basis of the planned 2014 implementation stage.

 - - >Click here for full PDF version -

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

can you feel the fluttering breeze

evening comes
the candle still burns bright
can you feel the fluttering breeze

Butterfly haiku wafuu


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Friday, January 3, 2014

Congestion Offsets vs Road Pricing: The quest for efficiency and equity

Matthew Bradley and Jeff Kenworthy help us to set out on our search for USA tollbooth attendenteconomic instruments that can be effective in reducing traffic congestion while leveling the playing field between cars and other transport in ways that are both efficient and equitable.  They tell us that: "A major part of the urban transport problem today is a failure from the very beginning to acknowledge that congestion is fundamentally inequitable and unfair, impractical to construct away, and therefore must be properly charged for and controlled to eliminate the transport system dysfunction which is systemic in cities today." Recommended reading for anyone with  a serious interest in how to get the most out of economic instruments in our troubled, seriously underperforming sector.

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Congestion Relief Strategies for Asian Cities

This article by Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute has just appeared in the December 2013 issue of the United Nation's "Transport and Communications Bulletin for Asia and the Pacific."  It reinforces many of the strategies and principles set out in the New Mobility Agenda 2014/15 program, and  provides useful reading for anybody concerned with transportation, mobility and public space improvements in Penang and George Town.  A summary introduction to the full paper follows extracting a final section on Optimal Congestion Solutions  and the Conclusions. The full paper is recommended and freely available at


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