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Thursday, 22 February 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

On the right track to promote cycling in Selangor

THE Selangor government’s move to allocate RM200,000 to local councils for the installation of dedicated bicycle lanes by next month is commendable.

This type of initiative can help the state achieve its target of creating 1,000km of bicycle lanes by 2021.

I hope this allocation will be spent wisely, to not only build more bicycle lanes but encourage the use of bicycles.

There are some bicycle lanes in Selangor but regrettably, they have not been used effectively by the public.

This could be because there is lack of publicity or awareness of the lanes.

Another problem is bicycle lanes being used by other road users who drive on them or park there illegally.

Lack of maintenance also poses a risk and makes it difficult for cyclists.

The allocation from the Selangor government could also be used by councils to publicise and make the public aware of the new or existing bicycle lanes.

Organising cycling events near areas with bicycle lanes will encourage people to take up cycling.

At the same time, it can educate road users about the dedicated lanes and the penalties for driving along or parking on them.

Councils must also ensure there is strict enforcement and those illegally using the dedicated lanes are swiftly penalised.

Another way to get the public to cycle along the dedicated lanes, apart from the “first mile and last mile”, is to encourage them to use public transport.

It will also benefit local businesses and make for a more visible and vibrant community.

My wife and I cycle from our home to the Kelana Jaya LRT station every day. We park our bicycles there and take the LRT to work and return home through the same way.

We also cycle to our local shops and mall, post office and banks. We cycle to visit our friends and sometimes, just to exercise. Our area does not have dedicated bicycle lanes but this has not posed any difficulty.

Safety is a two-way street, as cyclists too have to obey traffic laws and exercise caution and good cycling habits.

They cannot just depend on other road users to ensure their safety, they too have to ensure the safety of others.

And of course, when there are more bicycles on the road, motorists will be more aware and keep an eye out for cyclists.

Keep up the incentives and provide more assistance to the councils, Selangor government.

More cycling lanes coupled with encouragement, education and enforcement can only bode well for the state and its citizens.

Koo Wee Hon

Petaling Jaya