AMMAN — Two boys took the initiative and made use of a non-operational bus lane in west Amman on Wednesday by turning it into a bicycle lane.
Omar Ahmad and Mohammad Ali, both 14, from the Dahiyat Al Rashid neighbourhood, said they and other teens recently discovered the usefulness of the disused lane on Queen Rania Street near their homes.
The lane was constructed for the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) project, which the Cabinet officially suspended in September last year, amid concerns over its feasibility and funding.
The multimillion dinar project, which the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) started to construct in 2009, entails operating premium, high-capacity buses on exclusive and segregated lanes that can carry more than 120 passengers and will run on a three-minute frequency during peak hours along Amman's busiest corridors.
The two 8th graders said they have nowhere else nearby to cycle safely in Amman, where there are no dedicated bicycle lanes, except for this “new found place”.
Amman residents interviewed by The Jordan Times complained of the lack of public parks, prompting many to picnic on the sides of main roads. In addition, they called for having better sidewalks to make the city more pedestrian friendly. A project to improve pavements and clear them of large trees was started by GAM but the results were unsatisfactory.
Meanwhile, Omar and Mohammad, who found a temporary solution to the lack of bicycle lanes, hope that the BRT issue will take more time to be resolved.