Published on April 4th, 2021 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
8 Reasons Why Our Motorcycle Lanes Are Dangerous
Especially the motorcycle lanes along the Federal Highway.
We have been driving up and down the Federal Highway for decades and the traffic has never ceased to reduce despite the many other highways that have been built to connect Klang Valley commuters.
Every single trip we take on the Federal Highway, night or day, we see most motorcyclists riding on the highway, some even on the fast lane and NOT using the dedicated motorcycle lanes on either side.
For years, car drivers have complained about motorcyclists whizzing past them, weaving in and out of traffic and causing some nervous drivers to brake hard and on occasion to even cause a bumper to bumper accident.
With drivers increased complaints, two years ago on June 2019, the Malaysian Police started a weekly random roadblock on the highway to stop and fine motorcyclists riding on the highway and not using the dedicated bike lanes. The police and the road transport department decided that the Federal Highway was no longer open to motorcycles.
This made car drivers happy and some even said it was long overdue. We even saw the construction of new overhead bike lanes cutting across Jalan 222 which was built at a very high costs and it was time for the bike lanes to be used in full. Some RM3.13 million has already been spent from 2017 when RM29 million was allocated for motorcycle lane upgrades.
We think only a small portion of this money was used and the rest in the hands of shoddy contractors who drive large luxury SUVs on the fast lane.
Now, we have received a lot of negative response from bike lane users that we (motoring media who drive cars only) are biased and unaware of the issues relating to bike lanes.
So, as a small scooter rider (a slow one and only on limited to short errand journeys around Petaling Jaya) we decided to immediately take a ride along the bike lanes on Federal Highway. We did one run in the daytime and another after sundown.
We now understand perfectly the issues and have this eight (8) issues to share with the town council and the police.
- The bike lane from Bangsar South to Jalan Gasing has some tress overgrown and if two riders are side by side, the rider on the left might hit a branch or two. Regular tree maintenance is needed.
- Where the bike lane merges with another intersection, the space allocated for the merging bike traffic is not wide enough and one needs to come to a complete stop to make the run safely. This merging lanes need more thought.
- The bike lane running along PJ Hilton gets flooded when it rains and its very slippery, even when riding slow.
- The lane running along Guinness Anchor has some cracks and riding a scooter with small wheels, you need to be very careful.
- The lane running along the houses before the Sungei Way exit and before the Cycle & Carriage showroom has a lot of debris and it is very dangerous for all bikers and even cyclists. However, after the underpass at Cycle & Carriage until the Jalan Utara (Sheraton Hotel) interchange the motorcycle lane is perfect.
- Riding at night is actually dangerous as at some spots it is very dark and you need to be extra alert and seriously we were worried at some areas.
- There are some other riders who ride too fast (mostly delivery guys rushing to make a living) on the bike lane and they can cause an accident.
- Large bikes cannot ride on these lanes due to their width and it will be impossible to overtake them or for the riders to negotiate some of the sharp turns smoothly.
Riding on the bike lane in the daytime has to be slow, below 50 kilometers to ensure our safety and when it rains it is a real hazard at a number of spots. Then there is debris and cracked pavement which can throw a rider down easily. Top this with dark spots at night and the worry that some criminal might attack you and rob you around the corner when it is dark.
We have to agree with the many motorcyclists who refuse to use the lanes but they should not be riding on the fast lane of the Federal Highway and not be weaving in and out of traffic. We are staying on the slow lane until the motorcycle lanes along the Federal Highway can be 100 percent safe.