IN AN effort to be dubbed as “a true cycling city,” the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) is coming up with a proposal to build inner and outer dedicated bicycle lanes.
The commitment for PJ City Cycleways Network comes in its 2012 review of the city’s transport strategy that hinges on the Special Area Plan and the Local Agenda 21.
PJ mayor Datuk Mohamad Roslan Sakiman said the city had a vision to lay out an inter-connected network of bicycle lanes that would allow cyclists to traverse parts of PJ on the dedicated bicycle lanes.
“Our aim corresponds with the PJ urban renewal programme, with emphasis on prioritising bicycles, public transport and pedestrian walkways. With infrastructure such as separate lanes and road management improvements, the safety, convenience and attractiveness of cycling on inner and outer city roads will tap PJ’s major potential as a city of bicycles,” he said.
On Monday, Roslan told StarMetro that the council would create 56 kilometres of dedicated bicycle lanes as part of its effort to reduce traffic pollution and promote environmentally friendly transport in the city.
“Coming up with a draft plan on the dedicated cycling routes is the first for Petaling Jaya. It will be a beginning of a new route for people to commute to work, go shopping, cycle for health and to enjoy the green city parks. Times are changing and more people are making a switch to bicycles to reduce carbon footprint, offset the expenditure of using cars and the need to keep in good physical shape,” he said.
Roslan added that using bicycles would encourage urban folk to mingle with one another as there was not much interaction among the people who use cars.
“Our observations have revealed that there is very little integration among city folk. Cycling has become the new attraction to youngsters who use bicycles to get out of PJ to visit other areas and we want to provide the facilities to complement their new interest and activities,” he said.
Roslan added that the council had sourced for feedback from various quarters on the materials to be used as road surface for the bicycle lanes — bricks, asphalt or bitumen.
“We plan to form a Cycling Network Peoples Advisory Group to gather more ideas to ensure that the bicycle lanes serve all PJ residents. Our aim is to create a cycling route that gives a cyclist the thrill to want to come back again and again. We plan to source ideas from The Star’s Sam Cheong who travels on his foldable bike in search of good eateries, Selangor Cycling Association secretary Amrun Misnoh and residents’ associations,” he said.
“We want to inject some excitement by planning the bicycle routes along popular eateries where cyclists can make a stop to savour Malaysian delicacies. And this is where Cheong will come in to give us some input,” he said.
Roslan added that the aim of the PJ City Cycleways Network was to increase cycling activities, improve safety, comfort and connectivity for people of all abilities
He added that there are recommendations to have ample free bicycle parking and bright coloured bicycle lanes separated from the main thoroughfare.
“Other areas we have to look into are the existing road terrain as well as opportunities to use spaces and barriers that discourage cycling.
“We are also looking at making the lanes run parallel to major roads like Jalan Timur and Jalan Yong Shook Lin linking Taman Jaya,” he said.