A demand for cycling and the government's take on it
Today many people are recognizing that climate change, personal and environmental health are not an afterthought yet are a leading issue, and in a sense, is a crisis that we should appeal to refine. With areas such as Sliema being known to be a densely populated city with high pollutants in the air, a key factor to this being the high vehicle flows and surges during rush hours. So, many are opting for alternative modes of transport such as cycling or electric scooters in these areas.
However cycling in Malta doesn't come worry-free with a limited number of designated bike paths, while some routes are cut-off mid way. A well documented case of this is the roundabout bike guidelines in San Gwann, which has been brought up by various news agencies and concerned cyclists alike for being unclear and possibly posing more danger to users. However, after slight addition to the lane to merge it with a sidewalk (for pedestrians) has remained in essence unchanged leaving cyclists to attempt these routes due to their commutes.
This leads to believe that there must be a better way to divide our ever changing streets and constantly renewed roads to be more inclusive of all road users as opposed to adding miniscule changes for 'suggestive' improvements. An unfortunate case from 2020, where a man was seriously injured whilst cycling after a collision with a truck on the Coast Road further strengthens the argument that more measures should be put in place, where for instance a crash barrier for the length of the bike lane on that road could mitigate injuries has yet to be implemented or discussed by the Cycling Commission in Malta.
Another popular cycling route is the Mosta-Imgarr route which was scheduled earlier this year to be precautioned with a crash barrier, is being upgraded with other features to better the road for its users. But are cyclists being prioritized in any sense? Current Maltese cycling laws state that generally, cycling along promenades or in pedestrian subways isn't permitted, or given the rider is going under 6km/hr. and states that way should be given to pedestrians however, are there any scenarios where cyclists are given the priority on our roads?
Let us know in the comments what other measures or initiatives can help our cyclists.