Monday, May 23, 2005

Still No Inkling on Penang's Second Link

Penang Bridge is congested, congested, congested....
Penang Bridge is congested, where's my Second Link....

(Sung to the tune of 'London Bridge is Falling Down')

Penangites would be singing to this tune soon if the current situation continues. The North section of The Star today highlighted the plight of motorists plying the Penang Bridge during the recent long holiday weekend and once again called upon the authorities to act and rectify the problem fast.

The Federal Government recently approved the expansion of the current Penang Bridge from 4-lanes to 6-lanes and postponed plans for a second bridge between the island and the mainland to after the completion of the expansion. The question here is, can we truly afford to wait any longer? For 10 years now the current Penang Bridge has been running on over-capacity on a daily basis. The situation of the Penang Bridge is very much like a blocked artery and this is causing Penang to lose its charm when attracting foreign-direct investments (FDIs).

I agree that Penang probably has too many cars/motorists for its own good but the two things that can help reduce the number of motorists (the implementation of a new and efficient public transportation system and the construction of a monorail system) are yet to be seen. As such, Penangites will still have to wait for a long time before the situation gets any better and more people will rely on cars to get to their destinations on time.

In my opinion, the Penang State Government should act quickly to revamp the current embarassing public transportation system and make it a priority to implement the monorail system immediately. Maybe then, we wouldn't need a second bridge and the proposed RM2.6b to be used for the Second Link would have been used effectively in elevating the traffic woes in the state through an efficient public transportation system with the monorail as its backbone.

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