EN125: unsafe for cyclists and pedestrians

The Algarve’s infamous EN125 road – known for its alarming number of car accidents – has also been flagged as “unsafe for cyclists or pedestrians”.

So says transportation specialist Vasco Colaço, just a few weeks after a 47-year-old mother was killed after being hit by a car as she rode her bicycle on the road to work. (click here)

Colaço said measures exist “that don’t cost a lot of money” but which could make the EN125 a lot safer.

For example, lanes could be reduced “to force drivers to slow down”, while also making more space on the side of the road for pedestrians and cyclists.

As Colaço put: “It is dangerous to keep things as they are as a lot of people use their bicycles to get to work.”

The road as it is now – the only alternative to the tolled A22 – enables cars to pick up speeds of up to 90kph, creating many “risky situations” for cyclists, he explained.

José Caetano, the head of Portugal’s bicycle users’ federation, claims the Algarve in general lacks conditions for cyclists.

“Tourists see riding a bike in the Algarve, especially on the EN125, as a form of Russian roulette,” he told Lusa, adding that riders also complain that drivers don’t respect the minimum distances they should keep from cyclists.

However, some good examples of bicycle-friendly routes were highlighted, such as Vilamoura and São Brás de Alportel, which in January launched a 5km route of “disabled-friendly” paths that can also be used by cyclists.

Providing more bicycle-friendly routes is something the Algarve is apparently committed to doing, after announcing plans last month to become a “top cycling destination” as part of a “full-on attack on seasonality”. (click here)

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