42 local councils have declared interest in temporarily pedestrianising certain streets as part of the Slow Streets incentive, which was launched earlier today.
Following the significant decrease in emissions throughout Malta’s temporary lockdown, the Local Council Association in collaboration with the Transport Ministry, the National Heritage Ministry, and Transport Malta sought to mimic the environmental, social, and cultural benefits brought on by minimised car usage for a longer period of time.
This project was announced by Minister Ian Borg back in May on Lovin Malta’s show #CovidCalls.
How will our streets be impacted?
Certain streets within the participating local councils will be undergoing significant changes prior to and during the implementation of the Slow Streets initiative.
A select number of streets will undergo temporary closures to facilitate the creation of new rules and regulations for pedestrian areas. This shall provide insight into the informal use of space as well as highlight the need for quality public spaces.
Pedestrianisation shall vary from locality to locality, depending on the available streets and the needs of the residents. There are three schemes that can be potentially adopted to the chosen streets:
1. Temporary schemes
These will see certain streets be open to vehicles at day time and pedestrianised at night – and potentially vice-versa.
2. Partial pedestrianisation
This entails closing off a section of street to only allow one-way traffic.
3. Full pedestrianisation
This would consist of the closure of an entire street.
Apart from these measures, this project shall also incorporate the implementation of pop-up pedestrian lanes.
The creation of pop-up pedestrian lanes is planned to be carried out using a number of methods; these include the placement of traffic cones / metal barriers to mark a pedestrian lane within a larger road, painting markings on the ground, the placement of planters to simultaneously create small ‘community gardens’.