Everyday most people get stuck in traffic in order to work, to study, go somewhere etc. Luckily for me I live nearby University, meaning that every day I get to walk 25 minutes and I get there without the trouble of getting stuck in traffic. However traffic is quite a hot topic and even more so on a rainy day like today so I’ve decided to give you all some reasons why you’re all stuck in your car today, eagerly waiting for that car in front of you to move.
The main problem with traffic around these islands derives from the fact that the way our governments have dealt with the problem was and still is by seeking short sighted solutions rather than by addressing the root of the problem. By creating more roads we are just encouraging more use.
What we need is a good and reliable transport system. Yes, I know we’ve heard that all before but in truth there has been no real great investment in a radically better transport system. Why on earth should there be a bus every hour or every 30 minutes from a locality, and why should it take ages to travel from one locality to another? No wonder most people chose to drive!
No, we need a transport system with more buses or even a comprehensive change in the way of a monorail. I realise that this does seem extreme and very expensive, however we’ve spent millions on projects before, so why not on a solution to traffic. A monorail system would cost little more than the Gozo tunnel/bridge so why do we talk about the latter more than the former. Especially since abroad monorail systems are actually quite profitable.
Apart from all this rainy days seem to make things worse. That is because around 22% of land in Malta is urbanised according to a MEPA statistic in 2008. That figure should have risen since then. Urban land is impermeable and thus water flows down on it without percolating. Once the water reaches a low point it then floods the low point and cars will get stuck and harm will be done to property. Think about that when considering the development in Żonqor point.
The fact that there is a problem with regards to traffic in this island is obvious. However we should not shy away in pushing for a much better transport system than the one we currently have today. Things are not good enough and we should aim to do better. While it is also important to remember that by developing rural land we are contributing to an increase in flooding, which in turn increases traffic.
Marc’Andrea Cassar (ADŻ Malta Green Youth Chairperson)