The Malta Independent 13 August 2022, Saturday

TMID Editorial: Road works, traffic and road rage

Friday, 5 August 2022, 09:47 Last update: about 8 days ago

PL MEP Alfred Sant hit the nail on its head with a recent comment he made about Malta’s road infrastructure.

He said that too many road works are taking place at the same time. In a post on Facebook, the Labour MEP said that this is causing endless frustration as people get stuck in traffic jams.

One must point out that while traffic jams in general are frustrating, merging that issue with the summer heat sends it to boiling point. And angry drivers who have been jammed for 20 minutes or more in the summer sun could result in road rage and dangerous driving.

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The Labour MEP also said that there are times when projects get started but stop midway through without any explanation. He is also absolutely right on this point, and such issues should not be happening.

Sant said that it is wrong if whoever is leading such projects thinks that people will forget once the projects are completed, sometimes taking triple the time that is originally estimated. He said that this way of thinking does not show respect to the citizens.

This critique is coming from a former Prime Minister and a current Labour politician. The heads of Malta’s infrastructure must take note.

There are, of course, other considerations to take note of. The country is overpopulated, no ifs or buts. Adding on to this… we have too many cars. Government has been undertaking road widening projects to try and solve the issue, but while road works block arterial roads as happened in Pieta, drivers are quickly reminded of the impact of so many vehicles on our tiny island.

Given the amount of vehicles on the road, the government needs to be smarter when it comes to road works. We’ve experienced it in the past… roadworks on different arterial roads causing jams.

But this is not the only issue. It is not the first time one road is being worked on, and in an alternative route one road over construction works are ongoing requiring a crane or some other vehicle to block one of the lanes, meaning that oncoming traffic would need to stop while traffic heading in the other direction moves.

The fact of the matter is that road works on a major route inevitably mean traffic. So then what can we do about this?

For one, and those in charge of infrastructure do tend to do this on a number of occasions, where possible and not to the detriment of residents works should take place at night or continue throughout the night if they are taking place during the day. Works should also be concluded quicker.

Aside from this, we need a shift from private vehicles to public transport.

The Census recently showed just how much the country’s population exploded over the years. The major road projects that the government has undertaken have reduced traffic overall it is true… but the question becomes for how long.?

If the country’s population continues growing at that rate without there being a major move from private vehicle usage to public transport, then no amount of road widening is going to solve anything long-term.

 

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