Monday, January 28, 2013

Works by Transport Malta exclude cyclists & cause inconvenience

Alternattiva Demokratika - The Green Party said that the works being carried out by Transport Malta in Sliema are causing great inconvenience to residents and will also exclude cyclists.

Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson and Sliema Local Councillor, said:

"The rushed works being carried out by Transport Malta at Sliema Ferries are causing a nightmare to pedestrians. Crossing the road is very dangerous, signs are lacking, trees have been removed, and there are no signs of bicycle lanes. As Sliema Local Councillor I am
particularly concerned for persons with disability, parents with pushchairs, children, the elderly and cyclists".

"It seems to be the case that no cycle lanes are being designed to facilitate a safer passageway for cyclists in the Sliema Ferries area. Although the bus lane available on one side of the road could possibly be used by cyclists, it is obvious that this is still not the safest alternative for cyclists, while there is no available option for cyclist on the opposite side of the road. When consulting with the local Bicycle Advocacy Group (BAG) - a non political NGO that advocates for the safer roads for cyclists in Malta, Mr. Craig
Wightman from BAG said that; "If cycle lanes are not present or are not possible, then the most logical addition from a cycling infrastructure point of view is to use Sharrows".

Sharrows are clear markings that create more awareness about cyclists actually on the
road in the form of bicycle pictograms and arrows indicating that the carriageway should be shared. In addition new parking places such as those opposite the Forestalls store (front to kerb parking) are missing a ‘safety zone’ road marking. A Safety zone is a gap between two white dashed lines. This keeps parked vehicles away from the traffic/manoeuvring areas and allows doors to be opened without endangering traffic or cyclists. This particular road was resurfaced and safety zones were not marked although similar markings exist on
other roads.

"Many cities in Europe have adopted cycling lanes in order to decrease the amount of polluting traffic whilst encouraging the safe use of bicycles for commuting". The introduction of cycle lanes in the Sliema area would be idea for cyclists who use these spaces to commute or simply for leisure purposes, and would complement the introduction of cycle racks by Sliema Local Council. The lack of importance given to this kind of infrastructure identifies the government's lack of insight into such alternative, unpolluting whilst efficient means of commuting.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sliema Local Elections

It was a pleasure working with all other Sliema councillors and staff this past year. The Sliema Local Council inherited a precarious situation and is taking correct decisions on various issues. In various aspects, things have already improved in our beloved locality. In view of financial, administrative and legal procedures, the results of other decisions are likely to be experienced when the new council is elected. Best wishes to fellow councillors who, like me, will be contesting the Sliema Local election.