Tuesday, 13 February 2018

(The Star) RM200,000 to build bicycle lanes

The Selangor government will provide up to RM200,000 to local councils that award tenders to build dedicated bicycle lanes by March 31.

State Investment, Industrial and Trade, Small and Medium Industry and Transportation Committee chairman Datuk Teng Chang Khim said the incentive was to encourage the councils to design bicycle lanes in their areas.

“After the deadline, the amount will be reduced by 50% but the tender will have to be awarded by June. So I encourage all the councils to take this opportunity,” he said.

Teng added that the idea was also to ensure that the councils were in line with the state government’s initiative to reduce traffic congestion and build a green community.

As of last year, he said the number stood at 148km, of which 52km were built and handed over by developers.

The state’s current development required residential developers to provide bicycle lanes.

“This year, our plan is to have 128km of bicycle lanes by local councils and as of now, about 3.2km has been built by developers,” he said.

Selangor’s target was to have 40% private vehicle users and 60% public transportation users.

To realise this, Teng said, the “first mile and last mile problems” had to be addressed and the bicycles would be the answer.

“The difficulty is for people to get to the train stations from their house.

A map of the new cycling lane in Putra Heights.

“By using foldable bicycles, they can cycle to the station, carry it with them on the train and then use it again from the station to get to their destination,” he said during the launch of a new bicycle lane in Putra Heights.

Also present were Tourism, Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Elizabeth Wong, Mentri Besar’s political secretary and Sri Muda assemblyman Shuhaimi Shafiei and Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) president Noraini Roslan.

The guests went on a 5km ride with other cycling enthusiasts to test out the new bicycle lane. Wong gave the lane a thumbs up, adding that it was evenly paved.

She also said that bicycle lanes were in line with the state’s green technology action plan and its blueprint.

“The green technology standing committee will also continue giving out incentives to local councils.

“I hope more residents will use the tracks and provide suggestions on suitable routes for the future,” she added.

Noraini hoped the bicycle lane would become an alternative for everyone in the neighbourhood as it aimed to help people switch from motorised vehicles and for Subang Jaya to become a low carbon city.

The loop cycling lane is 15.46km long and is integrated with the existing road, a standard international practice.

For the safety of cyclists, the lane was built with a width of 1.2m.

When asked about issues highlighted in StarMetro’s report on Jan 11, titled “Risky ride for two-wheelers”, Teng said he and MPSJ both welcomed feedback from the public.