A confusing new bike lane around a San Ġwann roundabout has attracted the criticism of a number of cyclists, with one particular NGO going so far as to urge people not to use it at all for their own safety.
“Substandard, unsafe design,” Bicycle Advocacy Group started on Facebook this morning, sharing photos of the newly-painted bike lane around the busy roundabout just outside San Ġwann’s popular Liquid and Aria clubs. “Green paint is not a substitute for cycling infrastructure, especially in such a busy junction. Apart from the confusion to car drivers, such design will increase the danger to people travelling on bicycles.”
However, it seems like the lane’s design isn’t the only worrying part
“Such paint is also slippery, thus rendering these lanes useless in wet conditions and causing unnecessary accidents which can be fatal. It will also fade with time and use,” BAC continued.
The group ended by urging Infrastructure Malta and Transport Malta to provide its members and other cyclists with “safe and direct access on our roads before accidents begin to occur.”
The post quickly gained a lot of traction, with cyclists from all over the island condemning or flat out ridiculing the design
“I invite the architect who designed these to try using them a couple of times to go straight or round the roundabout without getting hit by a car ending in an ambulance or a hearse,” one user commented.
“This design is horrible,” one user said. “It fives a false sense of security to bike drivers while it will be ignored by drivers… The bike lane should be completely separated from the road.”
“Nowhere in the world have I seen such lanes crossing a roundabout like that,” another read. “It would have been better not to do any bike lanes altogether.”
Soon enough, Swedish-Maltese activist and MEP candidate Camilla Appelgren also joined the fray, putting the new bike lane on blast
“It’s very obvious that whoever got thrown the crayons to do the plan showing on the top photo has NEVER been on a bicycle,” Appelgren said on Facebook earlier this morning.
“This is damn dangerous and an accident waiting to happen,” she continued, going on to show a photo of “how things should be, if they indeed want to brag about a cycling lane in roundabouts”.
“A cyclist inside a roundabout should do what a car would,” the activist explained. “So if I’m going to turn right I indicate by using my arm and then cycle in the right lane in the roundabout and turn. The cars should treat me as if I am a car. Mutual respect.”