MyChuliaStreet Survey

published by Christina Oon

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Chulia Street Streetscape Project
On November 2015, we have conducted a survey on the streetscape of Chulia Street. Business, residents and pedestrians on Chulia Street have expressed their opinions and suggestions on the streetscape. 200 survey questionnaires were sent out to business, residents and pedestrians respectively. At the end of the survey, we managed to collect 297 responses from the survey. 103 business surveys were returned for a response rate of 51.5% and 183 pedestrian surveys were collected for a response rate of 91.5%. However, only 11 households responded to this survey with a response rate of 5.5%. Below are the survey results collected from the surveys.
Based on the survey results, which indicate that majority of the business and residents like about Chulia Street because of food and many tourists. Respondents comment that Chulia Street is convenient as they can access to shops and cafes within walking distance. However, most of the respondents dislike about Chulia Street because the traffic is congested. A lack of parking space is also a pressing issue on Chulia Street. In the pedestrian survey, respondents also points out that Chulia Street is lacking of pedestrian walkway. A proper walkway is needed in order to improve safety of pedestrians.
      Majority of the respondents agree that Chulia Street is lacking of safe crossing points. Insofar, there is only one crossing point at the junction of Chulia Street and Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling. To improve the safety of pedestrians, Chulia Street has to add more crossing points.         Besides, respondents also agreed that uncovered open drains is one of the problems along Chulia Street as these uncovered open drains are dangers to pedestrians.       In addition to the issues of uncovered open drains and lacking of safe crossing points, majority of the respondents also agreed that motorcycles parking in the five-foot way is also one of the problems. Although a number of pedestrians found blockages of the five-foot way, such as business display, is an issue along Chulia Street, most of the residents comment that it is still acceptable.
Based on the survey results, business owners want more parking spaces on Chulia Street in order to provide ample convenient parking for customers. Also, business and pedestrians would  like to see improved traffic conditions on Chulia Street. In addition, pedestrians also hope to have better pedestrian walkways on Chulia Street.
Based on the survey results, majority of the respondents highlighted that Chulia Street should add more seating areas. Also, business and residents would want more trees planted on Chulia Street. According to the residents, the provision of bus stops is extremely poor on Chulia Street. There has no proper bus stop on Chulia Street.
Traffic congestion is a contemporary issue in Penang. The survey results show that majority of the respondents agreed that Chulia Street has too much traffic. Also, majority of respondents agreed that Chulia Street is lacking of parking spaces. With the number of cars flock into the heritage site multiples, the existing 2,886 on-street parking spaces in the World Heritage Site seems insufficient to accommodate the needs of more parking spaces. On the other hand, although respondents have pointed out that Chulia Street should improve its pedestrian facilities, majority of them still agreed that it is a walkable street.
In the survey, respondents were asked to give their opinions on the small setback spaces to be used for. As mentioned at above, majority of the business wish to see more parking spaces on Chulia Street. Therefore, it is no surprise that majority of them suggests that these small setback spaces should be used as a parking space and also motorcycle parking. Residents also suggests that these spaces should be used as a parking space. In contrast, majority of the pedestrians think that these small setback spaces can be used as a place for plants. Perhaps some benches can be added to the spaces for people to sit and relax.
This survey is also aims to understand the small public space at the end of Chulia Street. From the survey results, majority of the respondents rate that this space is acceptable.
Although majority of the respondents rate that the small public space is acceptable, most of them have never used the space before. Only a minority of the respondents have ever used the space.
Respondents were asked to give suggestions for improving the small public space. Based on the results, which indicated that most of the respondents suggest that more shading should be added to the space. With respect to urban greening, respondents would also like to see more plants and flowers added to the space.  
Turning Chulia Street into one-way road would have both positive and negative effects. In the final part of the survey, the respondents were asked to give their opinions in an open-ended question. Majority of the respondents reveal that the idea of turning the street into one-way road may improve the traffic. Eventually, it would be more safe for pedestrians. However, business and residents show that this idea would not bring any positive effects to the public. In contrast, most of the pedestrians think that one-way road would give more spaces for pedestrians and cyclists.
With respect of the negative effects, majority of the respondents comment that turning Chulia Street into one-way road can be inconvenient to road users. The reason is because the road users might have to do a u-turn to come back Chulia Street if they go off it. Also, both of the business and residents think that this idea would affect business on Chulia Street. The respondents are also concerned about the traffic conditions on Chulia Street would be worsen. As a result of the worsen traffic conditions, some of the residents think that this might put them off to go out.