Life in the cycle lane

BY MANGALESRI CHANDRASEKARAN
mangalesri@ocision.com

Several bike-friendly neighbourhoods in Malaysia offer a dose of safety and tranquility at the same time.

IN this hustle and bustle of city life, it is always nice to take an occasional relaxing ride. Even though riding through the neighbourhood is quite desirable, yet the safety concerns are always there, as most people believe that cycling is quite dangerous due to the lack of well-planned neighbourhoods.

Most people are not aware that there are some neighbourhoods in Malaysia which provide a conducive environment for residents, especially cyclists, by including cycling paths, with safety measures taken into consideration. Let’s take a look at some of the neighbourhoods that provide cycling paths for its residents.

Appropriate signages displayed at Dataran Merdeka for the cyclists.

Appropriate signages displayed at Dataran Merdeka for  cyclists.

South-West Bicycle Corridor, Kuala Lumpur
Covering highly congested areas such as Mid Valley, Brickfields, KL Sentral, Pasar Seni and Dataran Merdeka, South-West Bicycle Corridor offers a 5-km bicycle trail in the midst of the city centre. Launched recently in April 2015, this path is shared between cyclists and pedestrian walkers, and is considered to be very functional as there are adequate signages.

Cycle lane at the City of Elmina, amidst greenery.

Cycle lane at  City of Elmina.

City of Elmina, Shah Alam
Developed with a wellness theme, City of Elmina offers a 90-km cycling and jogging track within its neighbourhood. The fundamental purpose is to provide a secured pathway for pedestrians and cyclists without compromising on their safety. To mark the launch of this development, a mountain bike jamboree and race were held recently, which attracted over 1,000 participants. As one of the most bike-friendly neighbourhoods in Malaysia, City of Elmina received ‘Planning Innovation Award’ from the Malaysian Institutes of Planners, in 2003.

Tanjung Aru cycling path, with a serene view.

Tanjung Aru cycling path.

Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu
With one of the best views available for cyclists, this cycling stretch is currently being developed in four parcels. This route runs through Sabah Port, Likas Bay South, Likas Bay North, Tanjung Aru, Sembulan, Sungai Darau and central business district, where the route will end at University Malaysia Sabah or Tun Mustapha Building. Parcel one covers 5.3km, parcel two covers 12.6km, parcel three covers 4.5km and the parcel four covers 3km. In total, it is a 25.4-km route and they are scheduled for completion by 2017.

The well planned cycling path in the midst of Georgetown.

The well planned cycling path in the midst of Georgetown.

The Light Waterfront, Georgetown
The Light Waterfront is a bike-friendly neighbourhood in Penang, which offers a tranquil site that is soothing to the eye. This 2km cycling path is further linked to another 2.03km route at Bandar Sri Penang, followed by a 1.55-km route across Jalan C.Y Choy and Persiaran Karpal Singh. This lane is part of the 12.5km bicycle route from Queensbay Mall to Komtar, taking sightseeing in Penang to a new level.

Cycling route in Putrajaya, which links eight public parks.

Cycling route in Putrajaya, which links eight public parks.

Central Putrajaya, Putrajaya
Putrajaya is a popular hangout place for cyclists, where the cycling route goes up to 10.5km, linking eight public parks namely, Taman Botani, Taman Warisan Pertanian, Taman Wawasan, Taman Wetland, Taman Ekuestrian Putrajaya, Taman Putra Perdana, Taman Rimba Alam and Taman Selatan. With a serene lake view at most parts, the Putrajaya cycling path is a must-visit place for cycle enthusiasts. Introduced recently by the Ministry of Tourism is the ’1Malaysia Holidays Cycling Packages’, a two night cycling package which costs around RM250, initiated to boost tourism.

Besides being a mode of transportation, cycling is also seen as a sport. Even though there are only few bike-friendly neighbourhoods available at the moment, yet more efforts are being taken into providing an intact and secure lane for cyclists.

 

“Cycling is possibly the greatest and most pleasurable form of transport ever invented. It’s like walking only with one-tenth of the effort. Ride through a city and you can understand its geography in a way that no motorist, contained by one-way signs and traffic jams, will ever be able to. You can whiz from one side to another in minutes. You can overtake sport cars that are going nowhere fast. You can park pretty much nowhere. It is truly one of the greatest feelings of freedom one can have in a metropolitan environment. It’s amazing you can feel this free in a modern city.”
- Daniel Pemberton, The Book of Idle Pleasures

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