Traffic lights on roundabouts

I feel that there are no real brains at Infrastructure Malta working on these road-widening schemes.

Traffic lights are not heard of on many troubled roundabouts around Malta while I have seen seven-lane traffic lights in the UK. Why can’t they adopt them here?

I have myself noticed that the traffic is much lighter going to Luqa/Qormi, while Gudja Road, which is very wide and not disturbing the public, is brilliantly utilised.

IM take note of the public, please.

Alexander Ellul – Mellieħa

Cycling on Sliema’s Tower Road

Tower Road, Sliema is very heavily pedestrianised. Photo: Shutterstock.comTower Road, Sliema is very heavily pedestrianised. Photo: Shutterstock.com

If the ‘No Cycling’ signs on Sliema’s promenade are not working then it’s probably because the ‘Share the Road’ signs are not working on Tower Road either.

As a daily cycle commuter, I fully agree that it’s not right that a cyclist cycles on footpaths (although sometimes it’s unavoidable; the way some cycle bridges and cycle paths link up – or,  rather, the fact that they don’t) but, especially, on the crowded promenade. However, that said, I can understand why some people do and, frankly,I can’t really blame them.

In 2014, Bicycle Advocacy Group AG (now Rota) studied various options to try to avoid taking parking or pavement space for a cycle lane. The ‘sharrows’ last resort option, least favoured by cyclists and a dirty word in cycling infrastructure circles since 2016, was turned down by Transport Malta.

Despite the study showing that, after measuring lane widths, some 60 per cent of Tower Road was unsafe for cars to pass cyclists while 95 per cent was unsafe for buses and trucks, Transport Malta did nothing further to enhance vulnerable road user safety. So, unfortunately, eight years down the road we have got exactly the situation that we expected.

To avoid taking away valuable pavement space for a cycle lane and given that there are now nice new wide roads to cater for through traffic such as Kappara, perhaps it is time to reallocate road space on Tower Road for a cycle lane.

One idea is to make Tower Road one way, just like all other promenades on the island; businesses would still get deliveries and commercial traffic. There would be less traffic in Sliema that doesn’t want to be there anyway. Residents would still have access and a quieter, less-trafficked Sliema. There could be a bit more parking and a two-way cycle lane, which could increase commercial custom fivefold. After all,  you don’t need a 4x4 to go for a coffee, where a foot scooter or bicycle will do. A win-win.

Jim Wightman – St Julian’s

The Divine Iconographer

The Holy Spirit is the Divine Iconographer. in his classic book on the Holy Spirit, The Sanctifier, Archbishop Luis Martinez writes: 

“God has only one ideal, which… encompasses all the highest forms of beauty. This ideal is Jesus. … [The Spirit’s] action is... intimate and constant. He enters into the depths of our souls, penetrates the innermost recesses and takes up His permanent dwelling there to produce later on this magnificent work.”

Am I letting the Holy Spirit, the Divine Iconographer, to write on my soul the image of Jesus, the Beautiful One?

Fr Mario Attard OFM Cap – Marsa

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