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oh lookee here… what we have! nice platforms in the centre of the bridge for you to enjoy the panaromic view of the mainland and the island.
which bridge am i talking about? penang’s 2nd bridge! so finally, they decided to go ahead with the construction of the bridge. the idea of a 2nd bridge was first mooted as far back as 1997, and in 2004, i had blog about it here. then in 2006, the sami velu guy suddenly said the project would be canceled since it was too expensive at RM2.6 billion. however, now, even at the cost of RM3 billion, the project get the go ahead (because of loans from the federal gomen).
as i had blog before (2004 and 2005) i don’t support the idea of a 2nd bridge because with it, it will only bring in more traffic… and now worst… they are planning to have 2 viewing platforms in the middle of the bridge. (precisely because of that too, more people would want to come to use the bridge). can you imagine that? viewing platforms right in the centre of the bridge? how’s the traffic going to be disperse there? what about parking? oh! wait… seems that this will be a 2 level platforms, with the lower level as car park bays. gee… they think of everything, huh? but do they ever think of the traffic along that area…. how’s the flow and so on. won’t the many cars visiting the platforms, jammed up the area?
PM badawi had said that this 2nd bridge will ‘serve as a catalyst for development at the northern corridor and also position the state as a northern hub for sea and air connections.’ yeah yeah sure, why not…. but what will happen to traffic in penang?? if i understand correctly one of the reason they want the 2nd bridge is to ease traffic in penang. ha! will it? will adding an additional bridge, thus more roads, ease the traffic? on the contrary it might be the opposite!
the government should focus on implementing an integrated public transport system with more ferries, a comprehensive low-cost bus network (along the lines of that in Curituba in Brazil) including free shuttle buses in the city, a low-stress cycling network, street-level electric trams and light rail trains, and a pedestrian-friendly inner city (the Campbell Street pedestrian mall is a good start). Such an integrated transport network would be more sustainable and environmentally friendly and much less of a financial burden on the public than a bridge-tunnel.
(at that time it was proposed a ‘bridge-tunnel’. now they planned a bridge-viewing gallery.)