Green Lane (Malay: Jalan Masjid Negeri; Traditional/Simplified Chinese: 青草巷; Pinyin: Qīngcǎo xiàng; Penang Hokkien: Chnae3 Chau1 Hang33 ) as it is called today, is one of the major roads leading out of George Town, Penang. Today one of the busiest thoroughfares in George Town, Green Lane was still a quiet country lane in the 1950's, when the land in Green Lane was being developed into one of the earliest suburbs of George Town. During that time, a few noted schools such as the Penang Free School, Convent Green Lane, Heng Ee High School and Georgetown Secondary School have already moved into the area. Several religious institutions including the Church of the Holy Spirit (now Cathedral of the Holy Spirit), Wat Nai and Wat Pinbang-Onn have also established themselves in the Green Lane area.
Hamilton Road Flyover, as seen from Green Lane (31 May, 2012)
The Convent Green Lane Pedestrian Bridge (31 May, 2012)
Updates on Green Lane
6 February, 2016 The Star reports that the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) will ensure the minimal cutting down of trees along Green Lane when it widens a stretch of the road. 18 trees on the north-bound stretch from the Lorong Batu Lanchang junction to the Jalan Air Itam junction will be affected when the stretch is widened from two lanes to three. According to MBPP engineering department deputy director A. Rajendran, no trees on the stretch from the Free School Road junction to the Hamilton Road junction will be affected by the widening. The road widening project is expected to cost RM7.85 million. It includes improvements to the pedestrian walkway, drainage system and street lamps.
26 September, 2014 The Star reports on the roadwork at the Udini end of Green Lane, stating that it will be delayed a third time, with slated completion now moved to early 2015. So far, the planned "elevated U-turn" linking Green Lane to Yeap Chor Ee Road has also not materialized.
1 December 2012, The Star: The Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) bowed to the demands of the NGOs in not chopping down the 44 affected trees, and will instead relocate them along with the other 18 affected by the road-widening project.
The Green Lane Road Widening is a RM7.5 million project to accommodate the increase in traffic along the road, projected at between 10% to 15%, in anticipation of the completion of the Second Penang Bridge in September 2013.
Green Lane, Penang (23 September, 2012)
Green Lane, leading south (14 April 2009)
30 November 2012, The Star: The Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) plans to cut down and transplant trees along Green Lane despite objections from several non-governmental organisations (NGOs). According to MPPP Engineering Department Deputy Director A Rajendran, twenty of the trees are diseased and pose a danger to motorists. The MPPP will however try to save and heal forty-four of the eighty-eight trees affected in the road-widening project.
The NGOs that were most vociferous against the chopping down of those trees were the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) and Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM). Both held a protest at the Green Lane site on 28 Nov 2012. The Penang MCA advisor Datuk Koay Kar Huah also threw his support for the two NGOs. Meanwhile, the MPPP decided to hold a dialogue with CAP, SAM as well as with the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) and Friends of the Penang Botanic Gardens to brief them of the plan on 30 Nov 2012.
24 November 2012 The Star: The Penang Island Municipal Council (Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang) issued a statement dated 22 November 2012 that trees on the 700-meter stretch of Green Lane from the Udini roundabout to the Shell petrol station will make way for road widening and upgrading of drainage. An arborist appointed has identified 80 trees in the area of which 44 are to be cut down, 20 to be transplanted, and 16 to be left remaining. The trees that are to be removed are those considered problematic. They include the semarak api (Delonix regia), the weeping fig (Ficus benjamina), the angsana, the Chinese banyan (Ficus microcarpa), and the yellow flame (Peltophorum pterocarpum). These are regarded as common trees that are easily found.
History of Green Lane
The development of Green Lane was carried out in phases. In the 1950's, the government quarters around Cheeseman Road was developed. Within this area are roads such as Taylor Road, Jalan Sir Hussein (named after Sir Dr. Hussein Hasanally Abdoolcader, a noted Penang lawyer).
On the Penang Free School side of Green Lane are also new roads. These include Free School Road, which was named after the school itself, as well as minor roads named after some of its headmasters from the turn of the 20th century, among these, Hamilton Road (after W. Hamilton, 1925-26), Pinhorn Road (R.H. Pinhorn, 1904-1925), Hargreaves Road (W. Hargreaves, 1891-1904) and Hutchings Garden, after the founder of the school, Rev. Sparke Hutchings.
Green Lane, at the turning to Island Park (14 April 2009)
The land south of Hamilton Road was occupied by the Green Lane Convent as well as Thai Buddhist temples. The housing estate developed behind them all had the word "Hijau" to it. These are some of the earliest roads with numbers in their names in Penang. Around the Church of the Holy Spirit was developed Island Park in the 1960's. The roads here were named after metal, namely Mas (for emas, gold), Besi (iron), Tembaga (brass) and Gangsa (bronze).
Next came Island Glades, later renamed Taman Mutiara, a name that never caught on. The roads here are all named Delima (ruby). In between Island Glades and Island Park came a later development, Taman Greenview, in the late 1970's.
Across Green Lane from Island Glades is the housing development of Batu Lanchang. The Lam Wah Ee Hospital was moved here in the late 1970's. The roads in the suburb bordered by Lebuhraya Gelugor, Lebuhraya Batu Lanchang and Green Lane have their names derived from amalgamating the names of the neighbouring areas. Hence we get names such as Batu Green (Batu Lanchang + Green Lane) and Gelugor Green (Gelugor + Green Lane).
Service road running parallel to Green Lane (23 September, 2012)
Green Lane ends at the Udini Roundabout, which is today served by a flyover as well as an underpass. This roundabout marks the traditional city limit of George Town until the 1970's, when the metropolitan area expands and spills south, reach as far as Teluk Kumbar by the turn of the 21st century.
Green Lane was renamed Jalan Masjid Negeri in the late 1970's, upon the completion of the Penang State Mosque, much to the chagrin of its residents as well as the people of Penang at large, the majority of whom still prefer the lush connotation that the name Green Lane conjures. "Green Lane" lives on in sights along the road, among them Convent Green Lane and Green Lane McDonald's.
Traffic along Green Lane has increased tremendously in the past half a century. No longer is it a quiet lane through the countryside, Green Lane is today one of the main ring roads of George Town. To contain the ever-increasing traffic flow, a number of viaducts have been built over the road since the early 1980s. They include the Hamilton Road Flyover and the Batu Lanchang Autopont Bridge. The northern end of Green Lane is likewise connected to Scotland Road with a flyover. The latest traffic enhancement project, taking place near the Udini Roundabout, will see a viaduct to provide southbound traffic direct access to Yeap Chor Ee Road. The construction is expected to start in December 2012 and completed in 2014.
Green Lane at the Batu Lanchang Autopont Bridge (23 September, 2012)
Green Lane, in front of Convent Green Lane (31 May, 2012)
If you are coming from George Town and using public transport, Rapid Penang buses 102, 206 and 304 pass by Green Lane.
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