THE blue bicycle lanes in Kuala Lumpur have triggered safety concerns and set off alarm bells, which indicate that all is not well.
While we appreciate the good intention behind the project, it is discouraging to read negative comments such as complaints about irresponsible motorists parking their vehicles on the lanes, cyclists encroaching on pedestrian walkways, lack of motorcycle lanes and high risk of accidents.
These concerns are valid and Kuala Lumpur City Hall should look into them. There should be no compromise on safety.
More than anything else, it is urgent to take a close look at stretches of bicycle lanes that are frequently encroached on by other road users.
Of course, we should not compare our efforts with those of advanced countries.
In my humble opinion, it is too much to expect everything to go smoothly for a pilot project that extends more than 11km. After all, the bicycle lanes were created in an already crowded city environment.
The concerns highlighted may seem trivial, but they may lead to serious problems over time. City Hall should take a fresh look at the whole exercise. There is a lot more that City Hall can do besides enforcement. A common-sense approach is needed.
It is clearly in the best interest of the public to support bicycling in cities, as it will make a big difference in reducing traffic congestion and air pollution. It is certainly timely, with the launch of bicycle-sharing services, and will have a positive effect if implemented successfully. City Hall has taken a big step in the right direction, and everyone must work together to make it work.
I suppose the RM4 million in costs reportedly borne by taxpayers to create the bicycle lanes will become a thorny issue. City Hall must resolve this as quickly as possible to maintain public trust.
I hope there will be a timely review of the initiative. Implementing a concept of such dimension and cost will come under media and public scrutiny.
Ultimately, the regulatory bodies bear a huge responsibility in ensuring that the initiative is implemented properly. Otherwise, they will have to answer for it.
EDDY NG SOON HOH
Puchong, Kuala Lumpur