For Penang, bike lanes a work in progress

GEORGE TOWN, Nov 25 — In line with the state government’s aspirations of turning Penang into a bicycle state, the Penang Island Municipal Council is working with several developers to build facilities to provider safe lanes for cyclists.

The council’s building department director Yew Tung Seang said: “It is a work in progress but we are on the right track.”

Currently, the state has a 1.2km stretch of road dedicated to cyclists in Tanjung Bungah.

Still on a trial run, the stretch is painted in green and is made up of four 30m sections.

These lanes are not exclusively for cyclists but built on a shared road concept where it is only meant to alert motorists to give priority to cyclists.

The stretch starts from Flamingo Hotel by the Beach and ends just after Dalat International School.

If successful, the state government will create bicycle lanes on both sides of the road all the way from Tanjung Tokong to Balik Pulau, covering about 60km.

“We have received mostly positive feedback from the public with more than 90 per cent saying yes to bicycle lanes,” revealed Yew.

However, several technical issues need to be addressed before the bicycle lanes can be set up.

As for the RM30 million-coastal bicycle route that stretches 12.5km, Yew said the project was expected to be completed by next year.

“It is a dedicated bicycle lane from the roundabout near Queensbay Mall that will go through the coastal road all the way to George Town,” said Yew.

The bicycle route is part of the state government’s bicycle lane master plan involving five developers — IJM Land, Tropicana Ivory, GSD Land, CP Landmark and Asia Green Group — and the council.