Roads and streets a danger for cyclists

Sharlien Tjambari

In Swakopmund bicycles and vehicles are increasingly sharing streets and roads and unfortunately it creates more problems and solutions. It is healthy for a society in general and for the environment where the use of bicycles is increasing.

However, motorists seem to have a disrespect towards cyclists, leading to accidents where life and limb is at stake. There are currently only a few bicycle lanes in town for cyclists.
In a recent interview with Namib Times cyclists say they feel motorists have no respect. They vented their frustrations with motorists’ general attitude towards cyclists. Bearing in mind your chances of suffering serious injuries or even death when struck down by a vehicle is far bigger than for the motorist him or herself who are afforded protection by being in the vehicle.
One cyclist angrily voiced her opinion that lives of cyclists are in danger on a daily basis. She shared her experience when she was almost hit by a truck at the traffic lights near Food Lover’s Market recently. The truck driver’s excuse was he didn’t see her.
“The lives of cyclists are in danger. We will die on these roads if the local authority does not act now. We need more bicycle lanes”, she said. Not only are cyclists exposed to traffic dangers on the streets, but many cyclists practicing along the national roads daily where they too have harrowing accounts of the dangers they suffer as a result of badly behaving vehicle- and truck drivers.
Namib Times contacted the Swakopmund Municipality to share the plight of cyclists. The Marketing and Communications Officer, Aili Gebhardt, had this to say on a very promising note: “Council is planning to incorporate bicycle lanes in the new development plan of town. To create bicycle lanes in the existing layout will be difficult. Council has called for consultants to structure the development plans within the boundaries of Swakopmund, which will include bicycle lanes and taxi drop off zones”.
The traffic section at the Swakopmund Municipality when contacted urged cyclists to write down the registration numbers of vehicles who put them in danger on the roads. Report these incidents and be prepared to testify against these drivers during criminal proceedings.

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