Bicycles don’t have adequate space on the roads.
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Cyclists have often been the subject of significant amount of vitriol online, especially from motorists who find them rather annoying and dangerous on the roads. In response, they’ve come out to make their case – like suggesting that motorbike lanes can be reserved bicycle lanes on weekends.
Faz Adhili, a long-time member of Malaysia’s cycling scene and owner of Plan A bicycle shop, notes that there is a lack of infrastructure available in the country for cyclists, which is why so much misunderstanding happens between cyclists and motorists.
In an Astro Awani interview, he says that even existing bike lanes are often not usable for cyclists due to people not respecting the lanes at all. Plenty of people double-park on the cycling lanes, and some even open roadside stalls on the lane, obstructing the usage for cyclists.
Other countries, like Thailand, have exclusive bike lanes for cyclists, but Faz Adhili understands that it’s a big undertaking for the government to build new infrastucture for cyclists.
Hence, he suggested the usage of existing infrastructure- the motorcycle lanes along major highways and within the cities. Due to low traffic during weekend mornings, it would likely not be too inconvenient for cyclists to make use of the motorcycle lanes. He also argues that it would help cyclists stay safe as well as off the main road.
Bike Lanes? No Lanes.
The blue bicycle lane that weaves through Kuala Lumpur city and other areas are not newly built infrastructure, but rather simply painted on top of existing roads or walkways.
Because of that, they are often ignored by motorists and cars casually block the lane by parking on it.
However, motorcycle lanes, which are specially built roads for motorcycles that are separate from main highways, are not great either. In fact, motorcycle lanes are rather notorious for being in pretty bad shape.
With poor infrastructure available for cyclists, Assistant Commissioner Mohd Fadzil Ali of PDRM Putrajaya suggests in cases when cyclists have no choice but to get on the road, they should cycle in a single-file and not spread out, which would obstruct traffic. Additionally, everyone has to follow traffic rules for a safer and better commute.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.