THIS coming Monday, the United Left/Green Party coalition (EU-EV) is to put forward a proposal to the Council of Majorca for making cycling a safe practice on the Island's highways and byways. The coalition motion comes in the wake of last month's death of two cyclists on Majorcan roads.
Coalition spokesman Margalida Rosselló, held a Press conference yesterday, out on the Manacor road itself, to raise public awareness on just how unsafe this particular highway is for non-motorised transport. Rosselló explained that after the recent cycling accidents on the island, the coalition wants the Council of Majorca to take on the responsibility of avoiding such recurrence. Similarly, Rosselló pointed out that the previous Highway Plan (under the Socialist regional government) included the creation of an adequate network of road links for non-motorised transport, but the current one doesn't include the concept. A retrograde step for the safety of cyclists, she claimed. Also represesnting the United Left/Green Party coalition, Magdalena Tugores, described current standards on roadways as outrageous, as it was impossible for non-motorised transport to travel about safely. As examples, she quoted the new dual carriageway being built between S'Arenal and Llucmajor, which has made no allowance for cycle tracks; and the road-widening project of the Palma to Manacor road which has struck off the originally planned cycle lanes. Tugores highlighted the importance of cycle lanes for tourism and sport, as there are more than 100'000 cyclists which use the Islands' highways every year. Rosselló declared that accident black spots are everywhere, because there aren't sufficient cycling byways; cyclists are therefore forced to use major highways. The coalition called for the tidying up of highway hard shoulders to allow safe use by cyclists; the creation of rural byways (separate from main roads); and proper signposting and signals for non-motorised transport. It was also suggested that motorists need to get to know recently updated rules of the road so that they don't infringe the law through intolerance to cyclists. According to EU-EV, in 2001 the Balearics only had 112.9 kilometres of byways allocated to use by cyclists.
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