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How Many More Accidents In Malta Before We Start Prioritising Safe Infrastructure For Cyclists?

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Over the last few days, we have witnessed new roads being unveiled that do not comply with a certain standard of safe infrastructure.

The same day that the new Mġarr bypass was inaugurated, a van flipped upside down onto the new bicycle lane, literally within hours of the official inauguration ceremony.

The Mġarr bypass was yet another opportunity to put safe and inclusive infrastructure into practice, that does not only think about cars but also encourages more sustainable modes of transportation.

But no, instead, we’re once again faced with “new” bicycle lanes that fall below the minimum safe width, with rumble strips applied on the inside of the lane as opposed to the outside, and culverts in the middle of the lane.

Credit: Paolo Cassar Manghi from Komunita' Rota

Credit: Paolo Cassar Manghi from Komunita' Rota

Here’s a breakdown of three of the latest accidents in the last 10 days: 

On 1st November, a car crashed straight into the bike lane in Marsa, right over the crash barriers that are currently being more prioritised over physical bike lane segregation.

On 7th November, a car kept driving straight into the bike lane, over the planted centre strips, and directly into the wall.

Just yesterday, 10th November, a vehicle quite literally overturned into the newly inaugurated bike lane, once again posing a massive threat.

In the three incidents mentioned above, which all occurred within the same 10 days, the situation would have ended in a tragic way if a cyclist was utilising the bike lanes at the time of the accident.

In other words, the cyclist would have been killed.

 

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Why do we allow the possibility for this to happen, rather than take protective measures in the first place?

Why do cyclists continue to be straight-up ignored and never prioritised?

Why are we getting new roads that have been closed for months while works were taking place, without the proper infrastructure or bike lanes?

We can’t keep on waiting for tragedy to strike before we take the route of safe infrastructure across all modes of transportation.

Proper cycling lanes are desperately needed to protect those choosing to make use of this alternative method.

Do you think Malta’s cyclists deserve better? 

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When Sasha (formerly known as Sasha Tas-Sigar) is not busy writing about environmental injustice, she's probably fighting for women's rights. Follow her at @saaxhaa on Instagram, and send her anything related to the environment, art, and women's rights at [email protected]

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