People living in KL would have probably noticed the new blue lanes across the city
These lanes, painted in bright blue, are dedicated bicycles lanes that are part of a sustainable development effort that aims to make Kuala Lumpur one of the world's best green cities.
Berita Harian reported Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) project management executive director Datuk Mahadi Che Ngah as saying that the bicycles lanes are part of DBKL's project for citizens to commute easily.
The first phase of the project stretches for 11.9km from the DBKL headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut towards Jalan Sultan Ismail and all the way to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC). The route then leads back to Jalan Sultan Ismail through Medan Pasar and Dataran Merdeka.
However, the infrastructure has come under public scrutiny following claims that it is endangering the lives of commuters in the city
The bicycle lanes have yet to be officially open for public usage.
A man allegedly got into an accident after his motorcycle skidded when it got in contact with the blue paint on the bicycle lane. It was learned that the road and bicycle lane converge at a turning.
The incident is believed to have happened along Jalan Sultan Ismail, at a junction near the Parkson Maju Junction shopping centre.
Photos of the man lying on the ground after he sustained injuries following the accident have been circulating on social media since Sunday, 21 January.
Following the incident, viral postings warning road users to stay away from the road dividers that were installed to prevent other vehicles to enter the lanes on have also emerged. There have been claims that the kerb is unsuitable and poses danger to many road users, particularly motorcyclists.
The rubber separators were removed swiftly in response to these allegations
A report by Utusan Malaysia revealed that the dividers were removed yesterday, 22 January, following a directive from DBKL.
Action was taken after the installation of the device allegedly jeopardised the safety of road users. It was learned that DBKL is looking into the possibilities of installing flexible barriers to replace the rubber road lane separators that were previously installed on the roads.
Mahadi said that the matter will be reviewed, especially since the issue has elicited strong protest from some parties within the community.
"We will find the best solution for the wellbeing of all citizens as a whole," he was quoted as saying.
Many have since pointed out several concerns they have concerning the safety of the new blue bicycle lanes in the city centre
Besides claims of the slippery surface of the blue lanes, it was recently highlighted that the bicycle lane is directed onto the pavement for pedestrians or omitted altogether in some parts of the route, as shown in a video that was posted on YouTube by mysustainablefuture.
"The result is an intermittent bicycle lane that does not ensure safe passage through the city for the bicyclists - and diminishes safety for pedestrians, because they now have to share the sidewalk with cyclists," read the video description.
The authorities are now looking into resolving these issues
According to an update posted by Cycling Kuala Lumpur on Instagram yesterday, 22 January, a meeting was held to discuss the issues surrounding the cycling lanes.
Various stakeholders attended the meeting including consultant traffic engineers, contractors, the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research (MIROS), and motorcycle NGOs, among others.
It was said that the team is working round the clock to ensure that the conditions of the bicycle lanes are safer and better for all road users.
What do you think can be done to ensure that the bicycle lanes in KL do not pose danger to any road user? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
There was a huge issue last November when several yellow bicycles belonging to bicycle-sharing company oBike were dumped or destroyed after use: