Friday, July 18, 2008

Walkable Cities.....

I'm sorry if I have not updated my blog and have not posted anything about Anwar Ibrahim's arrest and release. I could not because I was in a place far from the madding crowd. A rustic and picturesque place where you can hear the "whispering winds" and the rolling waves. I could stay there forever....

I think I am trying to not replay the 1998 saga in my head. Every bit of that saga is still vivid in my head, in my mind. So, while nothing of it has been purged from the deepest recess of my being, nothing of the latest events has escaped me.

I know that this is 2008. Anwar is not that same man who was dragged -- I mean, taken out of his home. And today he is the de facto leader of a political party.

I hope you all don't mind if I am not posting about it.....just yet!

So amid all this political development, let's lighten up a bit, while we can.

So, let me bring to your attention, this (Reuters) article about "walkable" cities.

Most of us who have been abroad would know because we often find ourselves enjoying walking - a lot of walking, I might add -- in these foreign cities, never quite depending on automobiles for transport.

Don't go too far. Singapore comes to mind.

And we know why!

Good pedestrian-friendly sidewalks/pavements. And great boulevards!

Read this.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - San Francisco, New York and Boston are the United States' most walkable cities, according to new rankings from a website that evaluates how easy it is to live in the nation's cities and neighborhoods without a car., which uses an algorithm to identify those neighborhoods boasting the most amenities per person, published its ranking on Thursday and deemed San Francisco the most walkable city, with a "Walk Score" of 86 out of 100.

The ultimate goal is to see the site's scores included in property listings, said Mike Mathieu, founder of the company that created the site's software.

"What we see is someone calling up a broker and saying 'I want three bedrooms, two baths, a walkability score of 85, what've you got?"' Mathieu said.

Type an address, and the site generates a map showing the nearby grocery stores, cafes, movie theaters, schools and parks.

New York received a score of 83, Boston a score of 79.

Scores greater than 70 indicate neighborhoods where it's possible to get by without owning a car, while scores greater than 90 qualify communities as a "Walker's Paradise."


Anonymous said...

I believe by now we all know that the 1998 sodomy case was TRUE. But he somehow manage to manipulate some people and some people willingly be manipulated by him.

If the 1998 Sodomy case was True, then why at the last appeal, he was acquited ? If we read the judgement report, as we now know, the two judge has purposely let him go by technicallity. Was Pak Lah behind this ? You tell me. Why did KJ so excitingly help to send his passport personally all the way to his home?

Anyway, when he was released, everyone have been willingly to let the whole episode goes. Believing him has or will turn on a new leaf. He should even get help from psychiatrist as requested by his wife, but he declined.

Second chance has presented to him with the latest election result. He could have seize this opportunity to right what he did wrong. But how wrong we are.

He blew it ! And he blew it HIMSELF and blew it BIG ! We should not blame others. We should not blame ourself or should we?

Time to move ON.
Election has been over.
Stop being manipulated by politician.
TIme to be impartial again and condemn any party who did wrong.

Right now, I will say forget the Sodomist.
Vote Dr. Tan Yee Kiew to replace the Sodomist wife as the PR president .. not to be the PR sodomist.

Hidup PR ... Hidup Dr. Tan.
Hidup BN ... Hidup Najib
Hidup Pas ... Hidup Hadi Awang
Hidup DAP ... Hidup Lim Guan Eng
Hidup Rakyat.

Pak Lah, Sodomist & RPK ... please get LOST and stop making our life misserable !!

~ Leno ~

Donplaypuks® said...

Until we outlaw the stinky hawker stalls and restaurants from operating on pedestrian sidewalks and dumping cooked and uncooked food down open drains, we cannot hope of even something remotely like that glorious Orchard Road walk.

We do not have a single food-court and hawker area anywhere in M'sia of the class of Newton Circus. The worst of the lesser known areas in S'pore will put to shame our best ones!!

City Halls are too greedy in going from the revenue fromlicence from food operators instead of improving sidewalks.

Mandatory wide sidewalk like those in S'pore and Europe/US/UK will also go a long way towards preventing snatch thieves and abductions.

But the real problem is our taxpayer funded City & Town Directors & Managements Officers - 1st world costs, third world planning, execution and maintenance.

Hi&Lo said...

Hi Nuraina,

This is a good breath of fresh air cos we are suffocated from too much politicking.

Walkable cities very essential to stimulate the street economy, besides reducing carbon output. We shld be walking more than driving when in the city.

Only by walking around, we can soak in the rustic side of the city. We take notice the little things which otherwise escape our attention. It thus builds up our emotional attachment to the city.

As far as KK is concerned, it's not pedestrian friendly. Spitting is one of the dirty habits of the people here.

At one time rubbish collection was a big issue after it was privatised. The then mayor blamed the people.

I wrote several letters to the editor telling the city hall to clean up. If it did its job properly, it would discourage littering.

Another thing was indiscriminate digging on the pavement. We had the rotation CM system which aggravated the problem.

We also had missing cement slabs and manholes and uneven pavements which are hazards.

Poor lit streets also contribute to petty crimes at night.

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

It's always healthy to take an open walk
And have someone friendly to chit-chat or talk
Rather than being stuck within any room with chalk
Or to face any unnecessary roadblock as a balk

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 180708
Fri. 18th July 2008.

Anonymous said...

I worked in Singapore for 5 years. Yes, I love their pavements, boulevards, mrt and their bus transportation system. I never need to drive to work. In addition, it's really relaxing just taking a long walk. Don't need to worry about potholes, fumes,stench, heat, cheeky fellas and snatch thieves. Walking in high heels with a business suit and make up on, no problem. Sigh..

Anonymous said...

Wow, wouldnt it be nice if KL is a walkable city? :) But knowing our hot and humid climate... hmm... Or the easiest option to just plant a lot a lot of trees to provide shade and the extra oxygen... Just compare lah, walking in a place like subang jaya and puchong (lack of trees) to maybe taman tun or bukit kiara area....? Ahh...

Indeed, such a refreshing change nak discuss about this. Too much political bitching going ala ANWAR :P! lol

Anonymous said...

What about Taxis?

CINTA suci abadi said...

patut ke Polis ada kan dua jenis peraturan yang berbeza? Satu untuk rakyat "the rich and famous", satu lagi untuk rakyat merhain? mana mana kes ' non-bailable " untuk rakyat merhain dan mana mana yang "bailable" untuk "rich and famaus?" macam syed hamid kata polis kena " flexible"..Ini ke Keadilan yang hendak di tegakkan?

Anonymous said...

Walking in Kuala Lumpur poses a danger to life and limb.

Motorist who do not obey pedesterian crossings.
Motorist who do not obey traffic lights.
Motorcyclist who ride on sidewalks aginst traffic. I have seen policemen doing this.The men in blue should be setting a good example.
Sidewalks blocked with all manner of things including tables, motorcycle repair shops, stock and a few more surprising htings.

Power to the people who want to walk.

Donplaypuks® said...

Dear Marina

Oops! My apologies for that faux pax on PAS. Getting senile! Must be all that damn sitting in useless sodo mee traffic jams.

But, I stand by my reasoning that religious zealotry is the cause of this backward move.

And you are right, Most married couples go on family excursions and we do not want to abandon our wives and daughters at a segregated site.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nuraina,

Good to have you back again. Walkable cities in Malaysia.. you know I love it.

Our town planners never plan, they just build. If they could, they would build the highway right at your door and set a toll there too.

So, I am going back now to dream of walkable cities in Malaysia.

Good nite

Bung Karno said...

Do you think City Hall officers know what are 'walkable cities'? Or are there any urban planners in DBKL ?

Mr Bojangles said...

In "walkable cities," pedestrians get top priority, followed by cyclists, public transport vehicles, and then only private motor cars.

In that sense, KL is primitive. You have to be a gymnast, olympic athlete, and have lungs of steel to negotiate our streets on foot.

I remember one former mayor of DBKL saying upon taking office that he will make KL "the most beautiful city in the world." I kid you not. You worked with the NST, you can check out the statement.

I am sure many of us are still waiting for the dream to come true while still living the nightmare.

Many of us who lived in KL almost our lives put up with all the jams, pollution etc in the late '70s and '80s thinking it will all be worthwhile in the future and the city will be a good place to call home once all the infrastructure is in place.

I, like many others, am still waiting. In the meantime, cities I lived in 20 years ago today have experienced quantum leaps forward in terms of providing a quality of life for its inhabitants that we may never see in our beloved Kuala L'impure. While others aim to prioritize quality of life for its citizens, we shine in terms of placing obstacles in the way. Even if people want to demonstrate in the cities like Chicago, New York, San Francisco, London, Bonn, the authorities will allow space for them even to the extent of providing safe routes and protection for them to do so.

So, yes your diversion to something pleasant and different from the usual grime thats making news in bolehland is most welcome. But it also fills one with regret that we are on the short end of the stick despite all our claims to be progressive and developed.

Fadhil said...

Salam Puan Nuraina,

Am I right in guessing that you were in Besut working on Tun Salleh's autobiography together with Rocky?

May I humbly request to reserve a copy when it is published. Kalau boleh di t.t. oleh kedua penulisnya serta Tun Salleh sendiri.

Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Want to change the environment into walking cities whatever, first and foremeost we need change of attitude. Like the sikap2 of ugly malaysians stated above. Of course building infrasructure and doing physical things is easy, but who will b in charge of helping the malaysians chane their ways and attitudes for the better?

Point to ponder. Who IS doing that? That is when the leader's mindset is important, our PM perhaps. Is he more people development or tangible things development?

Anonymous said...

Hi Nuraina,

While the script is almost the same as 1998, I notice one difference. Last time the timing was either on the dot or slightly delayed. They are super efficient this time. Anwar was detained abt 1hour beforehand. "What's the difference between 20 to 50 minutes?" said Dy Home Minister and later bought by Najib. I can excuse if such "smart" answer were to come from a Ketua Cawangan UMNO. Can I break my fast 30 minutes before it's due. Maybe some UMNO leaders are doing it. Can we invite Najib to officiate at a function at 9am. and should he turn up at 8.45am, tell him it's too late and somebody else has performed it.

A Fighter

Old Fart said...

i know you were born in Singaproe and all and have many relatives there and you visit it for long holidays and all. But to call it a walkable city is not exactly something I'd agree with just because they have broad walkways and good public trnasport systems and road crossing systems and so on.

What you see there is plasticised impersonal faces, very business like and too many of them almost falling all over you whereever you walk. I feel very crowded out and its like my personal space is not personal anymore.

Of course I have to admit that this is something that many people see otherwise and welcome. But sure not for me. I'd rather have KL with all its din and noise and to some extent suspense as well.

Better still give me the solitude of the forests or even Gasing Hills anytime.

Rockybru said...

Thank God they haven't thought of extending the road blocks to the sidewalks, Ena. Once they do thay, KLites can walk in their dreams!

As it is, the cities in Malaysia are still walkable places. Last year we had the Human Rights Walk in KL and the Lawyers' Walk in Putrajaya. Used to be the Malay Mail was holding their Big Walk every year. KL is not just walkable but also a marchable city - we had the Yellow March last November, remember?

Singapore is as hot a place but they grew trees where we fell them.

Thank you.

bayi said...

In Kuala Lumpur, you would probably encounter a manhole without its cover every feww hundred yards. It's not City Halls fault totally. The people here just don't love their city that much.

Pavement tiles are damaged over time and are left unchanged, creating an uneven surface that could severely twist your ankle. I twisted my badly along Jalan Bukit Bintang years ago and still have problems walking properly. I have spent a small fortune visiting orthopaedic doctors.

How about begining with these two points to make KL and PJ walkable?

Anonymous said...

i wish i could ride bicycle to class everyday. but it won't happen here.

Unknown said...

Not a day since last week with word like liwat, sodomy, DNA, police, abuse...can we just drop it and move on fixing our real problem ie rising cost of living, crime rate etc. tak larat lah eee..

duasenkami said...

In the late 70s I used to walk from the bus stand by-the-river near Central Market all the way to my school in Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur. It took about 15 minutes and the morning weather was slightly cooler then. It saved me 15 sen (which was the bus fare for the trip to the AIA building). The walk would take me past Benteng, Bangkok Bank and the Bank Bumiputera Building on Jalan Melaka before ending at St John's Institution. KL could have been a walkable city if City Hall had the political will to do so.
Anyway, things were different then although we had the ultimate king of the road - the mini bus!!!

sexyjudge said...

I've read somewhere that success starts with a dream. So, dreaming this won't hurt and perhaps someone can make a change...

Politicians? Still doing the pointing routine toward whoever they can. It's the lies that we can't tolerate...

BaitiBadarudin said...

This topic reminds me of a dvd that I watched over the weekend. It's about a New York radio host Erica Bain (Jodie Foster) who has her own show about the city that she knows so well. My intention is not to draw attention to her vendetta nor the crime that triggered it, just the thought that it would be nice to have a similar radio program about KL, PJ or any "walkable" city here in this country.

Anonymous said...

Yes aina, asia sentinel came out with an article and Tokyo came out tops, this side of the globe, no surprise.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Copenhagen - the world's most walkable city!

The problem is Malaysians don't have a culture of taking care of our public spaces as we do inside our homes.

It's ingrained in the Japanese and the Danes. The Singaporean must be fined to be litter-free, and they have succeeded.

Malaysians? Only God knows how to get us to take pride in our cities and make them more liveable.

The authorities can only do so much. At the end of the day, it's up to us. So set examples, start picking up rubbish whenever you see them.

Nadrah Mustafa said...

Sigh, tell me all about it. I don't mind walking around the blocks in Singapore even after a long tiring day of the Great Singapore Sale in Orchard Rd.

What more New York!

But the streets at home, Subang Jaya, you can count with your fingers that are actually worth being walked on and you know, have that "I appreciate these pavements" kinda thing.

I had the thought of these Walkable Cities. I wondered whether is it just me that I don't feel Malaysia is such a pedestrian friendly place or is it because that THIS is home and everybody just you know, don't know how to appreciate home since "The grass is always greener" on the other side.

Oh well, we should repair our pavements make them more friendly. AND the drivers should utamakan the pedestrians, just like in Singapore.

After all, minyak harga dah naik. Unless Anwar nak turunkan harga.

Anonymous said...

talking about boston , walkable city ... hmm.. currently i lived in quincy , 6 miles from Boston . It's true it's walkable city , very nice indeed , but to live there ????.. you have to pay a lot of money USD 3000 and above just for monthly rental of 2 bedrooms apartment .. crazy. 1 more thing , the traffic congestion is really bad in here, people sought train or buses to go to work and the parking lot... well they don't have enough spaces and it cost you like USD 50 and above to park your car in boston. , not all is shine here in boston..especially 9 months of winter ..