Cyclists call on gov't to provide infrastructure

October 16, 2007 23:36

Greens and cyclists led by MK Ophir Paz-Pines are calling for the Transportation Ministry to begin planning bike lanes for every new road in the country. The Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee met on Tuesday in the framework of the legislature's daylong theme of transportation safety. The committee said the ministry should "change its actions and create a team spanning multiple government offices to prepare a master plan for the creation of the proper infrastructure for bicycle riders in Israel." The Interior Ministry was asked by the panel to prevent any new roads from being constructed that ignore the needs of bicyclists. In 2006, 14 cyclists died on the roads, half of them on highways. There were also 85 reports of serious injuries. According to a spokesman in Paz-Pines's office, representatives from various safety and green organizations were present at the meeting, and they criticized the government for having no policy to safeguard the well-being of bikers. The committee praised the Tel Aviv Municipality for going ahead with plans for bike paths across the city, without any government support. The panel called on the other municipalities to follow Tel Aviv's example.

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