PAIPORTA – People may sometimes be surprised by the surreal bicycle paths they come across in Spain. They may end up in a vacuum or sometimes even at a wall. Or some are so complicated that no one can use them.
Now it is the turn of the municipality of Paiporta which borders the city of Valencia. The town hall has the ambition to promote sustainable mobility and therefore increase the number of bicycle paths. The network of cycle lanes has quadrupled in the past seven years.
The latest addition to this network of cycle paths is the connection between Avenida de Independencia and Carretera de Independencia. This should connect Laiporta with the green ring of Valencia, an urgent wish of the inhabitants for years. But now the bicycle lane is a fact, it is mainly causing growing indignation among both citizens and opposition parties.
And not without reason. The cycle path seems to have been chalked onto streets by laymen with a bucket of coloured paint. The terracotta-coloured strip runs – or zigzags at some points – across a zebra crossing, partly over several parking spaces, serves as a location for waste containers further on and passes the front doors of several homes just half a metre away. It’s not hard to imagine a collision when someone comes out their door not expecting a bicycle or e-step.
“Irresponsible Messing” and “Fiasco”
Chelo Lisarde of the Partido Popular in the municipality talks about “irresponsible tampering”. She denounces the unsafe situations that can arise with the new cycle path and believes that the cycle path was installed “without any knowledge of the facts”. “It was a good idea of the PSOE to build more bike paths, but it is now turning into a fiasco,” said Lisarde.
Municipality: “All technical criteria considered”
The municipality itself initially said in response to the criticism that technicians from the municipality, together with a specialised and reliable company, are not yet finished with the bicycle path. A week later, it appears that the city council has started work to make adjustments in consultation with the hired company. In doing so, all technical criteria would be carefully considered.
Also read: New cycle path in the centre of Alicante