THE Petaling Jaya City Council has introduced its first bicycle lane which is in Damansara Damai. The newly minted lane stretching 5.6km starts in Jalan PJU 10/1.
The effort is part of the council's plans to link the city with a 56km bicycle lane.
The lanes which are marked in blue can also be used by cars and pedestrians.
Cycle racks were also created behind an eco-friendly bus stop on the road that leads to the Damansara Damai Urban Park.
At the opening of the lanes on Saturday, mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman said the council's enforcement officers would be patrolling the lane over the next few months to ensure cyclists are safe.
He said that the introduction of the lane will correspond with a new traffic dispersal scheme for the neighbourhood, that would be announced next week.
Roslan, however, urged motorists to avoid using the lanes.
"For now, we don't have the power to stop motorists using the lane. However, vehicles parked there would be towed and compounds would be issued," said Roslan.
"We are mainly targeting the lanes to be used by school children, teenagers and hobbyists. But in a few years' time when our plans for a seamless network of alternative public transport is up and running, we want them to cycle to train stations, bus stops and so on," he said, adding the project will be completed in 2017.
Council planning director Sharipah Marhaini Syed Ali said the next leg of lanes would link the park and Kota Damansara through the busy of Jalan Kepong-Kuala Selangor.
"The council would subsequently map out neighbourhood webs for the 56km bicycle lane route," she said.
Sharipah said the council needed the help of residents to map out these routes.
The council will also make cycling lanes a criteria for development projects. It is offering RM2,000 to residents' associations to start their own cycling club.
"The members of these groups are the best judge. They can help us evaluate the feasibility of these plans, safety criteria and if it is necessary, they can sit down with us to tweak the plans," she added.
Meanwhile, the council's secretariat and general administration's senior assistant director Azizah Kosni was back on the bicycle after being was knocked down while riding in Taman Jaya recently.
She injured her rib cage in the accident and was warded in Assunta Hospital.
"The problem occurs when motorists don't give way," said Azizah.
"There is no reason to be afraid, especially if you are wearing proper helmets and riding gear. The helmet I wore probably saved my life," she said.
Hobbyist Fathuddin Kamaruddin was glad that the bicycle lanes have been introduced to promote cycling as a hobby and a lifestyle.
He, however, was disappointed that there were already vehicles parked on the lanes.