smart transportation methods-ADPD

Getting back our streets with smart transportation methods-

ADPD -The Green Party


In spite of all the widened roads and flyovers that the government repeatedly boasts of, it had to be one traffic accident – which unfortunately has become too frequent an occurrence – to cause massive congestion and gridlock across the country. It is therefore evidently clear that roads and flyovers do not solve traffic problems or reduce pollution.
“We do not need any more studies to confirm this – experience has shown us this, international studies point to this and government’s own Transport Master Plan indicates this too,” Dr Ralph Cassar, ADPD – The Green Party General Secretary and candidate on the 7th and 11th district said.
Addressing a press conference in front of the Transport Malta offices in Paola, Dr Cassar stated that “emphasis should be made on public transport and increased road safety – to encourage more people to use alternative and clean methods of transportation. Bicycle-superhighways should be introduced to enable more people to use bikes or pedicels. Low speed zones should be enforced in urban roads so that people do not feel they need to stay off them. The use of scooters should be encouraged by suitable regulations – rather than the Government and Transport Malta bending over backwards to pander to the needs of cars, those who would like to adopt new methods of transportation that take up less space on our roads and pollute less should be encouraged.”
“Public transport has improved – but there is much more room for improvement. Many a time the problem lies with roads that have been designed only for cars that end up being clogged with traffic. As stated by the government’s own Transport Master Plan, buses are being caught up in traffic themselves. This means of transport that can carry a large number of people at one go is not facilitated through properly designed bus lanes – indeed one only finds an ineffective few and far between of these.”
ADPD proposes:
• A Bus Rapid Transit system with electric powered buses (BRT is a high-quality bus-based transit system that delivers fast, comfortable, and cost-effective services at metro-level capacities. It does this through the provision of dedicated lanes, busways and bus right of way at junctions, and street level bus stations typically aligned to the centre of the road, off-board fare collection, and fast and frequent operations);
• A regional and circular transportation system;
• More road space to be dedicated to public transport;
• Trams may be introduced in certain areas;
• Incentives for those companies with many employees to organise transport to reduce traffic on our roads;
• Teleworking or working from home to be encouraged if practical, even for a number of days each week;
• In certain zones only vehicles carrying more than one person are allowed in , practically reducing traffic by half.
“There is no one solution and any measures should aim to lead to safer roads and more facilities for other means of transport such as scooters and electric bikes. However, all of these proposals need the political will for them to be implemented – something that so far there has not been,” concluded Dr Cassar.
ADPD – The Green Party Chairperson and candidate for the 4th and 9th district, Carmel Cacopardo stated that traffic congestion is not caused by an insufficient number or lack of wide roads but is due to an ever increasing exaggerated number of cars. “We have been stating all along that the massive expenditure projects such as those at Marsa, Kappara and the Central Link were simple wasted resources that would not solve anything except shifting the problem from one zone to another.” He pointed out that even the Government’s own consultants – ARUP – stated this.
The real solution for traffic congestion is making alternative means of transportation available which will facilitate mobility also thanks to the reduction of cars on our roads. This should be the ultimate aim of mass transportation systems: as a means of moving a substantial number of people across short and long distances. ADPD has been proposing such alternative means of transportation that are numerous. Government consultants are pushing the underground metro proposal. But there is also the possibility of Bus Rapid Transit and metro-tram hybrid – with most of the network above ground. Government and its consultants seem to be ignoring  these options. The ARUP underground metro proposal will mean several million cubic metres of excavation that may be used for land reclamation. However, it must be pointed out that this has to be treated with great caution – land reclamation has only been resorted to in rare cases in our countries. We hope that after the destruction of our land the government does not lead the way to destroy our seas, with the excuse that the excavated material for the metro needs to be used. Our choice is clear: we should not only reduce the number of cars on our roads but we need to do so with the least environmental impact that also respects our heritage.
Cacopardo stated that “some years ago the General Manager of the Malta Public Transport had admitted that greater cooperation was required between all stakeholders so that public transport may be improved. The aim should be for the efficient movement of people from one place to another thanks to the prioritization of bus use on our roads. This is possible with some road infrastructure changes as well as through the use of technology. We are fully in agreement with this, but it seems that government is more keen on pizazz and projects that are not viable to procrastinate and not tackle the problem head on.” Those who share our aspirations for a sustainable transport policy should vote ADPD – The Green Party on the 26th of March, concluded Cacopardo.
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