Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cycling and Sustainability

Cycling as the most sustainable means of transportation.
My lecture today was about sustainable transport. Well, yeah we have to deal about sustainability everyweek cos the course is all about 'Sustainability'.

The guest lecture today was someone from the uni unit (which im not sure which dept) and she's keen on sustainability in transportation. She's an American, living in Adelaide.
The topic was interesting thou. I was triggered. The comparisons made during the lecture was transportation in European countries and America and of course, Australia.
She also mentioned about Curitiba, Brazil, which can be considered having the most sustainable tranportation system in the world - even the trains are all designed with consideration of human ergonomics. I was impressed.
That adds on my must-go places list for now.

What they are saying is that, the locals are not making full use of the public transport system here, and Australia is among one of the countries with the least number of people who cycle or walk. Denmark and The Netherlands have the highest rate of those who cycle and walk.
Bus frequency and high cost of public transportation were among the debatable issues raised. Worse still, temperature was also one of the factor - despite of having specially designed bicycle lanes and segregated pedestrian walkways.


So it occured to me. There weren't any comparisons made amongst the Asian countries. I'm taking Malaysia for example. We ain't have segregated bicycle lanes. We actually have none to be precise~! (except for those used internally i.e. universities). Pedestrian walkways are built too near the main road. Unsafe because of the high volume of vehicles and more prone to snatch theft (which is a BIG issue here). So I don't think we could actually inculcate cycling amongst the people here in Msia. Also another factor is the weather which makes it more difficult. How should we cycle/walk if it rains everyday?Also the urban sprawl in KL is highly scattered and some suburbs are located way to far from the city.

Achieving sustainability is one thing. Having to take a step towards it is another.

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