The Malta Independent 24 April 2019, Wednesday

Naxxar’s urban environment under siege - AD

Saturday, 23 March 2019, 14:05 Last update: about 1 month ago

Highlighting how Naxxar’s urban environment is under siege, AD Chairperson Carmel Cacopardo said at a press conference in the town yesterday that, “Naxxar, like all major localities in Malta is choked with unbridled growth and with traffic. The urban environment, that is so essential to residents’ quality of life is under siege.”

The main problems placing pressure on people’s quality of life in urban areas are traffic congestion and unbridled growth, he said.

The proposal made earlier this week by the Malta Developers’ Association so that they compensate so called lost development opportunities due to restrictions in Urban Conservation Areas by providing additional development rights in other areas, will impact badly localities such as Naxxar, according to AD.

“Such a ‘compensation’, if it occurs, will undoubtedly exacerbate problems in Naxxar and other urban areas. The construction industry needs to be curbed and not given more and more leeway to continue with their destruction of Maltese localities.

“MDA’s proposals will compound the problems caused by the 2006 rationalization scheme, the impacts of which are being felt today.”

AD pointed to the “massive” development going on in several parts of Naxxar and other localities is a direct consequence of the 2006 decision: “This is leading not only to normal low-rise houses being replaced by a concrete jungle, but has led to a huge of buildings and a large increase of cars in a small areas. This increase in traffic continues to deteriorate the air quality and therefore contributes to respiratory diseases, amongst other problems”.

AD said the Naxxar Church has ended up as a roundabout: “Here we need a car-free zone reserved for people, right at the centre of the village, and not a church-roundabout for cars. This can be done with better management and diversion of traffic. Cycling infrastructure is virtually non-existent in Naxxar. We note that the National Transport Strategy approved in 2016 put as a major goal the reduction in short car journeys.

“Journeys of less than 15 minutes account for about 50 percent of the movements of cars on our roads.”

AD is proposing for discussion the concept that it is people and not cars who should be given priority on residential roads, the more so in the narrow streets of our village cores.

“This can be done several ways,” AD said, “including by minimizing speed in residential areas to a maximum of 30 kilometres per hour as well as the development of infrastructure so as to encourage the use of bicycles.”

AD also launched its visual campaign for the European Parliament and local council elections, and invited people to visit www.ahdar.green to read up on its policy priorities and to contact candidates.

The Green candidate for Naxxar is James Gabarretta.

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