Encouraging City Folk To Cycle To Work

"City Hall will tweak the plans to ensure that it is well-coordinated with traffic to match the safety of the roads.

"We are looking into scheduled shutdowns of a number of city roads, which is commonplace in Jakarta and New York.

"Maybe we could close Jalan Raja and other stretches around Merdeka Square and roads in and around the Perdana Botanical Garden for one weekend and see how it goes," he said, adding that the main focus  was to provide facilities for cyclists at train stations.

This is in line with efforts to promote seemless connectivity from homes to public transport systems. Phesal said companies were also upbeat on the cycle lanes. KLCC Property Holdings Bhd chief executive officer Hashim Wahir said he would look into the creation of cycle lanes in an internal road around KLCC. He said the main roads were naturally limited but the idea of opening up Persiaran KLCC to cyclists would be considered following the completion of development packages in the area that would continue over the next five years.

The mayor who cycled from his home in Jalan Changkat Tunku, Bukit Tunku, to his office at the City Hall headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut 6km away yesterday admitted that city roads were dangerous.

"But, the culture of cycling or even travelling by foot has to be instilled now that we have constructed several covered walkways," he said. "Only when you cycle to work can you demand for better facilities such as bicycle lanes and added safety features from the authorities and shower rooms from employers," he said, adding that Dutch ambassador P.P.J Bekkers who had accompanied him on the ride had told him that road safety had to be improved to encourage cycling.

The mayor was accompanied by 30 people, including German ambassador Dr Gunter Gruber, World Wildlife Fund Malaysia chief executive officer Datuk Dionysius Sharma, City Hall director-general Datuk Salleh Yusop and deputy director-general (planning) Datuk Zulkifli Ibrahim. They were escorted by City Hall traffic enforcers and members of the local authority's cycling club.

The ride began at 8.30am in Jalan Changkat Tunku and went through Jalan Parlimen, Jalan Cenderawasih, Jalan Tembusu, Jalan Lembah, Jalan Kinabalu, Jalan Raja and ended in Jalan Raja Laut at 9am The mayor had earlier promised to cycle to work if at least 50 buildings switched off their lights for the Earth Hour. A total of 157 private companies responded to make the event a huge success.

*Sumber New Straits Times


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