I think the time has come for the Palma city council to admit that its love affair with the bicycle is over. Millions of euros have been spent on trying to convince the good citizens of Palma of the merits of the bicycle. Hundreds of bikes were actually purchased by the council but yesterday the council was forced to admit that only a third are now in working order. It was a nice idea. The people of Palma, using their citizens card, would have use of a fleet of bikes all positioned at strategic places. Unfortunately, now many are unserviceable. Which brings me to the cycle tracks which line Palma. Yesterday, I was walking close to our offices in the Paseo Mallorca on the pavement and I was overtaken by a bicycle. Nothing unusual although there is a perfectly good cycle track on the other side of the road and riding a bicycle on the pavement is infact illegal. It is a great shame that sizeable parts of Palma´s roads and pavements have been broken up to make way for cycle paths, most of which are unused. It would be nice if the council took the bold move and said that their love-a-bicycle campaign has been a dismal failure. But they won´t. The council owned- bicycles will slowly disappear and the cycle paths will just fall into disrepair. In these hard times it is a shame that valuable time and energy has been dedicated to a project which was doomed to failure. Majorca´s love affair with the car continues and the bicycle is just for weekend pleasure.
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