Around 70 cyclists, accompanied by the President of the Federación Insular de Ciclismo de Tenerife, Juan Marrero, gathered in the Las Galletas area yesterday morning for a protest ride and a minute’s silence in honour of the Belgian cyclist knocked down and killed last Thursday morning (link). The TF66 is a favourite road for the activity because of its extra-wide hard shoulder, but cyclists say that it has two major disadvantages: firstly the poor state of the road means that motorised vehicles often seek to avoid cracks and potholes by moving onto the side areas thus endangering cyclists, and that this risk is exacerbated by the high speed limit on the road – 100 km/h, the result of the 1.5 width of the hard shoulder.
Cyclists released a list of demands, which they say are no more than common sense for all road users:
- To limit the speed of the TF66 and other similar roads to bear in mind the numbers of cyclists who use them;
- To place road signs showing the presence of cyclists;
- To place visible posters showing the road as one used by cyclists;
- To repair the tarmac to avoid motorists needing to use the hard shoulder;
- To develop an effective signposting policy for roads used by cyclists, not least because cycling is a tourism generator;
- To maintain the hard shoulders of roads so that cyclists can use them and not invade the carriageway;
- To organize educative campaigns in the media for drivers and cyclists for all to understand and respect the rules of the road.
Cycling organizations say that they are fed up of hearing that the Tenerife authorities are working on improving maintenance, adding cycle lanes and introducing signposting, and that their lives are at risk daily. They demand that the words stop and are replaced by action.