Can we make our cities more bicycle-friendly?

A reader says it might take a few years to make our cities bicycle-friendly. Pawan Singh / The National
A reader says it might take a few years to make our cities bicycle-friendly. Pawan Singh / The National

Regarding your editorial A cycling revolution (September 22), even if it’s true that the cycling infrastructure is developing, it might take some years to realise the objective of making our cities bicycle-friendly.

One reason is that such a thing was never a part of the original city plan. This explains why installing the infrastructure is proving to be so time-consuming.

The other problem is to encourage people to commute by bicycle. We may have dedicated bicycle lanes in the near future, but in all likelihood motorists will not respect them, thereby posing danger to the lives of cyclists.

I doubt that there are many people out here who would consider cycling in our cities to be worth the risk.

Petrina Peyang, Abu Dhabi

Natural gas is next big thing

The article Cheap solar power in the UAE could squeeze manufacturers (September 22) should have compared solar power per kilowatt hour (kWh) with natural gas, which is another form of green energy.

The reality is that renewable energy will never completely replace fossil fuels – at least not for another 40 years. However, it’s expected that renewables will account for 25 per cent of the world’s energy supply in the next four decades.

The oil company, Total, is increasing its investment in solar energy from 3 per cent to 10 per cent as it aims to be among the top three solar producers.

Others such as Shell are pushing natural gas, and it’s estimated that the world has 200 years worth of reserves.

As oil begins to decline, gas will become more and more important. Organisations such as BP are developing markets in biofuels with Oslo Airport being their first venture.

It’s a model they hope to replicate. LNG is playing a major role in energy markets as more supply comes online. Countries such as India and Pakistan increased their consumption by 50 per cent in 2015 as compared with 2014, and this trend is expected to play out this year.

Gas prices are reportedly at their lowest averaging at $2.20/ mmbtu (million British Thermal Units). So there’s going to be demand.

Randal Mohammed, Dubai

Islamophobia in Eastern Europe

The refugee crisis has bred Islamophobia in countries such as the Czech Republic, where people have limited knowledge about Islam (Refugee crisis breeds Islamophobia in eastern Europe, September 21).

Many people have never come across any Muslim in their life. Another problem is that the media often projects Muslims and Islam in a negative light as they are largely mentioned in relation to terrorism. This is really a bad situation and I am very sad to see this.

Anna Neužilová, Sharjah

This crisis is going to breed another crisis, namely a fierce clash of civilisations. As refugees flock to Eastern Europe, there is bound to be clashes between them and the indigenous population. The people of those countries ought to accept the reality and move on.

Name withheld by request

Make space for special children

It’s sad that many parents cannot afford the school fees for their special-needs children. There should be subsidised facilities for these children. For example, non-profit organisations should be encouraged to open education facilities for special children.

Ananya Kar, Dubai

Why no litter bins on pavements?

Dozens of new planters are being constructed along the main pavements of Abu Dhabi, but not a litter bin is in sight.

The amount of litter on the streets of Abu Dhabi is a disgrace, and now while trying to beautify the city the planters being installed are being used for waste disposal.

Jeremy Weeks, Abu Dhabi

Published: September 22, 2016 04:00 AM

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