Activist groups Moviment Graffiti, Friends of the Earth Malta and Rota.mt put up banners over gridlock traffic in Marsa and Msida to highlight the major shortcomings in Malta’s infrastructure.
The banners bore the words ‘Prioritise people, not cars’ (“Prijorità nies, mhux karozzi”), criticising incessant prioritisation of private care use over safe, more inclusive and sustainable transport.
Moviment Graffiti highlighted how the broken model led to more car traffic with around 40 cars added to our roads every day as well as an alarming number of accidents.
‘Since pedestrians and cyclists are the most vulnerable commuters in dangerous roads, these statistics do not promote the voluntary uptake of active travel. Ironically, big infrastructural projects across the island have failed to abate traffic congestion, unsurprising to experts in the field who have been warning of the problem of induced demand.’
The groups proposed various ideas for ‘more socially just transport structure’, suggesting that kids and adults are safe when travelling on foot or bicycle on efficient and pleasant routes and that public transport services are made reliable to serve the diverse needs of the public.
‘Moreover, car ownership should not be a necessity and a burdening cost, with those who cannot afford a private vehicle made to feel socially marginalised by our transport infrastructure’ they said.