Home Civil Society Voices Making streets walkable and safe is something long overdue

Making streets walkable and safe is something long overdue

Traffic jam in Jalan Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur at 10 am on a working day – BENEDICT LOPEZ

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Gabungan Patriotisme dan Perpaduan Kebangsaan (GPPK) endorses the call to form a “coalition of NGOs, political leaders, city councillors, planners and resident associations to fight for walkable pedestrian streets in cities and form more livable cities”.

The former Land Public Transport Commission official Wan Agyl Wan Hassan after all cannot be wrong in calling for the authorities to relook city planning and to improve walkability and disability access.

The absolute disregard and lack of walkable streets in city centres, townships and even in the federal capital of Kuala Lumpur is a mockery as well as a sheer dereliction of duty to the people’s safety, comfort and ease of commuting.

It is unthinkable how for decades we have allowed the chasing after development in the name of national progress but have completely erased the need for walkability along streets, near impressive high-rise buildings and state-of-the art facilities in and around our cities and even townships.

As pointed out by Wan Agyl, having “wider walkways with proper lighting, sitting areas, and curbside designs that allow access for people with disabilities” have been given mere cosmetic and lip service by the authorities.

GPPK agrees that the failure on the part of the authorities to truly commit to town and city planning is because they are not oriented towards being “research-minded and possess(ing) proper knowledge to efficiently improve walkway conditions” as was spelt out by the Penang planning Appeal Board member Amir Fawzi Baharudin.

GPPK calls out to all citizens and organisations to join the demand to overhaul our long neglected pedestrain walkways in the country.

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GPPK will commit to galvanise its partnering NGOs and join the fight to demand affirmative changes that can make our nation come on par with fast-developing nations as well and emulate the people-friendly streets of many developed nations.

We also call out to developers to demonstrate meaningful corporate social responsibility (CSR) by commiting to transform our cities and townships, with walkways forming an integral part of their business endeavours.

They have a categorical duty to partner [with others in] nation-building and not see projects as mere economic and financial opportunities for their own business interests.

Stanley Yong is deputy chairman of the National Patriotism and Unity Coalition (GPPK)

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
  1. Tegakkan maruah serta kualiti kehidupan rakyat
  2. Galakkan pembangunan saksama, lestari serta tangani krisis alam sekitar
  3. Raikan kerencaman dan keterangkuman
  4. Selamatkan demokrasi dan angkatkan keluhuran undang-undang
  5. Lawan rasuah dan kronisme
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Simon TAN
7 Oct 2023 10.58am

Do support this initiative , take photos of INADEQUATE walkways and complain to your local councils. INADEQUATE also means walkways that are blocked by inconsiderate drivers, hawkers and shops.
Complain to local councils for not enforcing UBBL (uniform building by laws) that requires building owners, highway developers and councils to build standardised walkways with adequate trees to provide shade or replant trees that were killed to become illegal car parks. Thanks

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