Create more bike lanes, please

  • Community
  • Tuesday, 05 Apr 2016

Riders cycling along the 12km dedicated bicycle lane near Persiaran Bayan Indah in Bayan Lepas.

YOU want to cycle to work and slash your fuel and parking costs on top of helping to reduce the number of cars on the road.

But the ‘last mile’ is still a problem.

Despite having the 12km dedicated bicycle lane connecting Queensbay Mall in Bayan Lepas and Gama Supermarket and Departmental Store in George Town, many who contemplate biking to work find it hard because the final stretch of their journey may not have a dedicated bike lane.

G-Club Penang Cyclist chairman Datuk Dr Lim Seh Guan said the number of Penangites cycling to work was still quite low.

“The ‘last mile’ is the problem. It frightens a lot of people,” he said.

The club had launched a bicycle train called Bike on Fridays (BoF) to get people to experience cycling to work together every Friday.

Dr Lim said BoF was introduced to promote the use of the 12km bicycle lane between Queensbay Mall and Gama Supermarket and Depart-mental Store in George Town.

But after reaching either end of the lane, the experience of cycling the last leg to their workplaces without anymore bike lanes was too unnerving for some.

“The number of BoF bike commu-ters has fluctuated between 20 and 40 people since it was first launched in March last year,” he said.

Dr Lim said he hoped the inter-connectivity of bicycle lanes in the state could be done quickly to make it even more convenient for people to take up bike commuting.

Despite the slow take-up rate, Dr Lim said the club would push on.

“We want to turn Penang into a ‘bicycle state’. The state government has backed-up the movement with a network of green bicycle lanes in the city.

“The 12km dedicated lane between Queensbay Mall and George Town is Phase One of the Penang Bicycle Route Master Plan,” Dr Lim said, adding that the club was helping the state to fine-tune the plan.

Dr Lim also said the club would talk to the management of Queensbay Mall to get special parking rates for people to leave their cars there and cycle to George Town using the bike lane.

He said this on Friday which marked the first-year anniversary of BoF.

BoF member Thomas Tan, 39, said another reason people dared not cycle to work was because many lacked the privilege of carrying their bicycles into the office.

“There are no proper places to store our bicycles and we cannot simply park them or they may be stolen,” he said.

About 150 bike commuters, led by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, marked the movement’s anniversary by pedalling from Queensbay Mall to Gama.

Guan Eng said that bicycle lanes were first introduced here in 2011 and had received good response from the public.

Also present at the event were Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, Sungai Pinang assemblyman Lim Siew Khim, IJM Land (North) senior general manager Datuk Toh Chin Leong and EcoWorld general manager (northern region) Khoo Teck Chong.

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