One should apparently exercise at least 30 minutes a day, and possibly the easiest and most pleasant exercise is walking. In Penang this has been difficult in many places, but footpaths are being built and upgraded, so the situation is improving.
Unfortunately, some car drivers see footpaths as a convenient place to park so that they don’t have to walk. Often this forces pedestrians onto a busy road with cars driving quite fast, so you have to wait for a break in the traffic to get past the parked car blocking the footpath. Or risk getting killed. Of course, car lanes are quite narrow here, so you have to be careful. Better signposts indicating where safe and legal car parking is available might help. If these drivers parked safely and walked a little, they would also improve their health. In fact, when you see strategies for scheduling exercise, they often mention parking further from your destination and walking as one of them.
Some motorcyclists seem to view footpaths as a traffic free speedtrack. The other day I was surprised by a motorcyclist zooming towards me at around 40km/h. Others see it as a way to ignore one way streets. And others just to avoid traffic on the road.
Some cyclists also use the footpath, but in my experience they ride quite slowly, and I haven’t yet felt threatened – and I sympathise, as facilities are as yet quite poor for cyclists, although they too are improving slowly. Faster cyclists tend to cycle on the road.
Here are a few photos:
More people are walking today than before, I think – a mixture of tourists and locals. It would be nice if pedestrians were respected.