Penang expands car-free Sundays in George Town

TRANSIT took note of this article announcing the expansion of car-free Sundays in the central business district of George Town.

This initiative of the Penang Government and MPPP will likely be well-received by most residents of the area as well as visitors.

We hope to see more people using public transportation to get to the Central Business District to enjoy the car-free spaces in a carefree manner.

Ban’s on every Sunday (The Star)
Saturday December 10, 2011
>By KIATISAK CHUA

DRIVERS and motorcyclists heading towards George Town’s Central Business District on Sunday from now onwards should take note that certain stretches of roads will be cordoned off from 7am to 5pm in conjunction with ‘Car Free Day’.

The affected roads are parts of Beach Street, Bishop Street, Church Street, and the whole of Church Street Ghaut which runs from Weld Quay to Beach Street.

Beach Street will be off limits to motor vehicles from the China Street junction to the Union Street junction, while both Bishop Street and Church Street will be closed from the Beach Street junction to the Penang Street junction.

This Sunday, a stage will be erected at the Beach Street roundabout in front of the Penang Immigration Office, where Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng will officially launch the ‘Car Free Day’ programme at 7am.

Participation is open to everyone, where the public will have the opportunity to cycle, walk, jog, skate or even take the trishaws which will be parked at the event venue for them to ride.

There will be a school band performance within the cordoned area as well as an aerobics performance to entertain the crowds.

At 7.30am, a 10km bicycle ride will be flagged off from Beach Street where the cyclists will ride to the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, Esplanade and back to the starting point.

Meanwhile for those who are inclined towards a more relaxing activity can join in the leisure ride in the car free zone which will be flagged off 15 minutes after the first one.

There will be a third flagging off at 8am for the public, where they will have the opportunity to swarm onto the usual car-infested road without the fear of being knocked down.

TRANSIT Says:

The arrival of a car-free day is great news for Penangites and visitors, as long as it remains an event that is enjoyable to residents and still maintains the authenticity of the central business district area.

We do not want to see George Town become an historical theme park where drivers come to gawk at strange people or enjoy strange experiences like walking on the street without fear.

TRANSIT wants to see an enjoyable day where all of the public can get out of their houses and experience and enjoy their public spaces together.

As we said above, we hope that more people will use public transport to get down to the Central Business District to enjoy car-free day. We would also be very happy if RapidPenang would start mounting bicycle racks on RapidPenang buses as part of a trial with, with the purpose of encouraging intermodal travel.

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