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Motorists spoil car-free morning event

bicKUALA LUMPUR: The first 2014 Car-Free Morning event here was slightly chaotic, with motorists and cyclists taken by surprise for different reasons due to lack of information.

Cyclists who thought the roads would be completely vehicle-free had to ride alongside the usual traffic on most of the 6km circuitous route although they were given right-of-way.

This was enforced by traffic police and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) enforcement officers who were on hand along the route to stop traffic when necessary.

Motorists, on the other hand, seemed unaware of this green initiative by the local authority that was meant to promote different modes of transportation around the city, a healthy lifestyle as well as a new tourist attraction.

On the real vehicle-free designated roads along Jalan Raja Laut, Jalan Semarang, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Tun Perak, which forms a smaller circular route known as the Criterium Lap, motorists found gaps at the road barriers and easily entered the area.

Many of the participants of the event, which included cyclists, inline skaters, rollerboarders and even joggers, had brought along their families and children to the event, causing some worry about safety.

Sunny Pang, 41, a spokesman for the Titanium Cycling Club who had turned up in force to show support for the initiative, said this had also happened at a similar event held at the end of last year by DBKL.

“I will still come back for the next car-free morning as it is a unique experience but I hope that the authorities will plan it better,” he said.

Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Ahmad Phesal Talib said they would place more signages to create awareness about cyclists on the road as well as promote the event further.

He had led the hundreds of cyclists around the full 6km route known as the Lap of Honour that started and ended at the DBKL headquarters.

– THE STAR

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