The Balearics has the least amount of bicycle lanes in Spain - just two kilometres according to the latest report published by the DGT traffic department. While there are a total 950 kilometres of cycle lanes nation wide, the DGT concluded that Spain's “few” cycle lanes are “too short.” The report states that the majority of cycle lanes are too widely dispersed and are poorly connected. The traffic department believes that by improving and extending the countries' cycle lanes and providing cyclists with better facilities, the number of fatal accidents involving accidents can be reduced. In fact, since 1996, the number of cyclists killed on the roads in Spain each year has fallen steadily. In 1996 a total of 122 cyclists died on the roads, last year the death toll was 75, the lowest for the past five years. But traffic chiefs and cycle organisations maintain that there is still much work to be done to improve safety for cyclists. This year a number of cyclists have been killed in Majorca, one being a British woman, and while the regional authorities are keen to promote cycle-tourism, the DGT wants safety and facilities to be improved. Plans are on the table for the Paseo Maritimo cycle route in Palma to be extended all the way to Arenal and a number of the first phase of tourist-tax funded projects include the construction of new cycle lanes. The Balearic government would also like to see more people using bicycles more as a regular mode of transport and is aware that for that to become a reality, getting round Palma, for example, on a bicycle has got to be made much safer - by contrast Madrid has 190 kilometres of cycle lanes. Some cities on the mainland have installed electronic underground parking systems for the bicycles, and Palma city council has been studying the viability of installing such novel devices in the city while encouraging bicycle hire schemes for visitors. But until a greater priority is given to cyclists, few people will be prepared to peddle round Palma and through the capital's congested traffic.


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