City dwellers should use the bicycle as a mode of transport, said Netherlands Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag. Speaking at the ‘Cycling Kuala Lumpur’ event in conjunction with World Urban Forum 9 (WUF9), Kaag said cycling is a common mode of transport in the Netherlands, with 36% citing cycling as their daily transport.

“This high frequency of bicycle travel is enabled by excellent cycling infrastructure such as cycle paths, cycle tracks within the city and by making cycling routes shorter, quicker and more direct than car routes,” said Kaag. “Today, the Netherlands counts more bicycles than inhabitants and cyclists spend less time in traffic jams and their quality of life has improved,” she said in a Bernama report.

Also present were Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizzudin Puta Jamalullail, Kuala Lumpur Mayor Tan Sri Mhd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz and UN-Habitat executive director Datuk Maimunah Mohd Sharif. Maimunah said ‘Cycling Kuala Lumpur’ is a living testament of the steps to become a more sustainable and liveable city by investing in smart mobility solutions and cycling infrastructure.

Maimunah said the cycling lanes recently laid out on Kuala Lumpur streets is aimed at promoting a healthier lifestyle and reducing the city’s carbon footprint. “It is also an alternative to complement the public transport system and reduce the use of private cars to minimise city pollution,” she said.

The recent installation of the cycling lanes for WUF9 and future use by residents – as seen in the photo above by Cycling Kuala Lumpur – around the Kuala Lumpur city centre attracted controversy after road-users alleged the layout of the lane and the lane separators posed a danger. The lane separators were later changed to plastic poles, while DBKL said it would be conducting a safety audit of the lanes, along with a month-long study by safety institute MIROS.