Just like a snail that hides after a fierce summer, the onset of early autumn and the waning of the sun bring me out of my shell to enjoy the outdoors a little bit more. I make no bones about it. I hate summer and the endless savage heat it brings with it.
Sure, I cool down a bit with a dip to the sea, but the sunny season here drags so long that it is a pain in the proverbial padded backside.
And with extra excursions on my mind, I come to my topic today. The Roads. I know that many have been over this before, but I fail to see how such a simple black-top can be built with so much short-sightedness.
Granted this is Malta, and contractors are unreliable, but there is a limit to being plain unreliable and jumping to being plain dumb. However it seems that there is no end to the amount of dumbness by those who design the roads.
One of my favourite haunts at various times of the evening is a walk along the airport runway. A cool, uninterrupted walk of about six kilometres that I strive to enjoy every day with my wife. So obviously, to go for my walk, I have to drive the three odd kilometres from home to our starting point.
And I honestly cannot, for the life of me, imagine why these ‘fouls’ have been made during the recent upheaval of Luqa Road.
Coming out from the roundabout linking Tarxien to Paola and Santa Lucia, I see that the first part of the road to Luqa has not been resurfaced. Considering that the government has spent so much on the rebuilding from the second roundabout onwards, I think it is folly to leave the last bit, a mere 300 metres stretch of road just as it was. All it would have needed would be a ‘scratching’ and resurfacing.
While we are on this stretch, I would like to point out that at no point is this road wide enough for safe passage of two cars. One of the main culprits are the many dusty trees making their presence felt along the side of the secondary Junior College. I am sure it has been said many times. We do not need trees in contact with the roads, unless they are protected by barriers. So why not make the barriers wider and allow for a pavement or a cycle track along the school wall? As it is, the courage to pedestrians who perhaps might take the walk is greatly diminished. With the shade of the trees, a walk there might not be the most attractive, but very doable still.
Just as that bit is over, we come to perhaps what is the biggest blunder of all. That humongous roundabout linking Tarxien, Marsa and Luqa. Who, in hell’s name invented such a monstrosity? The sheer physics of such a piece of useless shit means that one has to slow down to a crawl to manouvre his way around this chicane, because that is what it looks like. A racing chicane.
A driver on the left lane who is 5 metres behind the car to the right will suddenly find his windshield brimful with the arse of the same car that in most cases will probably stay on that lane on his way to Luqa. I’m sure that without even needing hindsight, this piece of traffic wizardry could have been avoided or made smaller. I will mention the small fact that coming back from Luqa, it is absolutely terrible and terrifying.
And how in hell’s name is anyone coming up from Marsa and Luqa supposed to enter Santa Lucija? Go over the roundabout, adding confusion to chaos.Smebody needs to be fired.
This roundabout should have been turned into an underpass and a flyover. I wonder how long it will be before the dunderheads realize this. It WILL happen. Because there is no other option.
Having had the good fortune to visit countries abroad, I still cannot comprehend why we do not steal an idea or two. Granted, a roundabout will always be helpful (and necessary) in decreasing speed by breaking the road, so to speak, but still, it is way too big. I hope we don’t have landscapers building them into ‘portable gardens’. That is so dumb.
The rest of the road therein is extremely good, and I applaud the ideas of pelican lights rather than a 60km speed limit, although I have a feeling it won’t be too long before a limit is slapped onto this stretch of asphalt. It’s an absolute necessity, although sometimes stretching the horses’ lying under the bonnet of your car is so therapeutic. Not that there’s anywhere to do that nowadays in Malta…
Since we are at the point of crticism, I would like to ask why the hell does the pavement need to have ‘lands’ of greenery in them? Or a bench?….. Ah well….
Obviously, it is still a great improvement on the older link, and it is easier to drive along, making my commute, even by bicycle, better. The LED lighting, clear markings on the asphalt, service culverts, traditional Maltese rubble walls are all bonuses… 5/10.