The Malta Independent 15 June 2024, Saturday
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Walking the talk

Sunday, 19 May 2024, 06:41 Last update: about 28 days ago

To underline the wise words of the current transport minister, Chris Bonnet, that it is now time to "walk the talk", can I ask all prospective local council candidates to follow the advice below while canvassing?

These simple rules will help them understand some of the micro mobility and accessibility problems around them, in an empathic way. Particularly as many candidates will have no experience of motorcycles, bicycles and scooters from a user’s perspective.

1. Be keenly aware of how those using shopping trollies, pushchairs and wheel chairs, as well as the elderly, can access pavements, and how pavements are obstructed. Only cross roads or join footpaths using accessible ramps. 

2. To understand how few alternative mobility facilities there are in their locality. Only park in streets that have at least one motorcycle parking bay or one official bicycle rack.

3. Even when walking, strictly adhere to the one-way system. This will help candidates understand how difficult, even in recent months, our localities have become to navigate on a bicycle or on a foot scooter.

4. Only use Google maps "bike route" option or the University of Malta's excellent "Green travel plan" totems and maps to navigate around villages. Strictly adhering to rule 3.

Hopefully this will give candidates an understanding of how localities fail to "walk the talk" and inadvertently create barriers to alternative modes transport.

Jim Wightman

San Giljan


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