Monday, July 20, 2015

Townsquare 38 Storey Tower Block proposal: Bicycling Advocacy Group submits objection to MEPA

Re: PA/01191/05

Dear Sir or Madam;

We the Bicycling Advocacy Group Malta, registered NGO, would like to raise our objections to the development of a 38 story tower block in Sliema on the following grounds.

1. There appears to be no Sustainable Urban Mobility Plan as per the EU White Paper recommendations on urban transport for this development or the surrounding traffic system that it will impact. This system and its effects can be as far reaching as St Julians and Gzira, due to the importance of the Qui Si Sana peninsula.

2. Given that the development will be pedestrianized external parking to the development itself is necessary as the internal parking incurs a significant traffic load. In addition the development needs to be mindful of EU 2020 and 2050 targets of a 50% and 100% reduction respectively in traffic in city cores.

3. The increased traffic (which would be significant) both private and public transport will increase the traffic density for cyclists on Tower Road. This has been reported (Sliema Sharrows Report) as being unsuitable for passing bicycles with sufficient safe clearance in 96% of it's length. There would need to be a segregeted cycle lane involving the removal of parking along Tower is traffic increased substantially in the lines that the development proposes.

4. It is not clear how the development will manage, and importantly, protect the only cyclable legal route out of the peninsula via Triq St Antnin and the streets leading to it, ie Hallet itself. This would also need to be given cyclist priority with the removal of parking and a full cycle lane provisioned for with connecting feeder lanes. Sliema's Tower Road is a consistently and highly patronized cycle route (see National Bike Count reports 2012 & 2014) that must be taken into consideration.

Kind regards,

Jim Wightman

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