Many motorists in Kuala Lumpur are now aware of the blue Cycling Corridor lanes on city centre roads. These lanes form the Cycling Corridor and Network, with the working title Bike4U and are due to be officially launched on February 9.

Intended for use by delegates attending the ninth World Urban Forum in Kuala Lumpur from February 7 to 13 and thereafter by local cyclists, the cycling lanes connect the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre to various hotels where the delegates are staying. The lanes are a voluntary collaboration between Urbanice, under the umbrella of the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government and town planners AJM Planning and Urban Design Group (APUDG).

Also involved in the creation of the cycling lane system are Cycling Kuala Lumpur, Bicycle Map Project, bike share provider oBike and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL). Originally envisaged to cover 11 km of city streets, the first phase of this five-year plan – which kicked off in April 2017 – now has 5 km designated as cycling lanes.

The lanes are marked by blue road paint, demarcated by lane separators that measure some 50 mm tall, and designed as a passable barrier. It is intended to safely separate slower moving cyclists from the main traffic flow.

However, Facebook postings have emerged stating the separators are a danger, especially to motorcyclists, and the cyclists themselves, should either stray from their respective lanes. Speaking to Jeffrey Lim, project coordinator for Cycling Kuala Lumpur, Bicycle Map Project, he emphasised that the lane separator or divider is a physical barrier, an added feature to deter encroachment and ensure, to a certain degree, the safety of users in their respective designated lanes.

Asked about the concerns of riders falling should they run over the separator, Lim said, “Yes, there are concerns, of getting caught and falling, there are also concerns of encroachment and causing hurt or fatality to the non-motorised vehicles or pedestrians due to encroachment by motorised vehicles.” Lim said that this separator was chosen as being the most neutral, as seen from photos provided from the Cycling KL Facebook page.

Commenting on the blue paint used to demarcate the cycling lanes, where a Facebook user alleges he slipped on the wet surface while riding his motorcycle, Lim said to the best of his knowledge the paint has anti-slip properties, within certain conditions and limits.

“In practise it’s never used to cover lanes in its entirety, only used sparingly where extra caution and demarcation is needed. But in this instance, it has been used throughout. I believe as a higher impact, for visibility and introduction of a new segregated lane,” he said.

The aim of the Bike4U project – part of the DBKL cycling and pedestrian master plan – is to provide connections for urban workers and dwellers to transport hubs such as bus and train stations. The aim of the project is to reduce traffic congestion in the city centre, and reduce the use of cars for short point-to-point journeys within the city.

In addition, the project intends making conditions better and safer for both cyclists and pedestrians. “It’s a transition, and everyone is doing it in the best interest to make it work, with the limitations and circumstances that we are faced with,” said Lim.