Celebrating a flyover on the day of a climate strike

The Skinny | No 3. Flyovers

What are we skinning? Flyovers in Malta.

Why are we skinning them? As much as one could actually ‘skin’ temporarily pristine tarmac... we’re talking about them now in the wake of the freshly inaugurated (but not quite 100-percent complete) Marsa flyover last week.

Yes, that was quite a show. True enough, though I’d daresay the opening party happened with no small amount of tone-deafness about.

Why do you say that? Well, let’s not forget the climate strike happened on the same day all across the world –  Malta included – as this car-enabling edifice was being celebrated with full media fanfare.

But the flyover will help keep emissions down due to less congestion! Minister Ian Borg said so! Surely, even Greta Thunberg would agree that’s a good thing... Okay, fair enough. But to REALLY appease Greta, we should consider alternative modes of transportation instead of constantly catering to cars, and cars alone.

What? You mean going around on boats like she did? A more frequent, dynamic and evenly distributed ferry service would be a great start, actually. We are an island, after all.

As if people will just switch from cars to ferries. You’d be surprised. Novelty can go a long way.

But then it stops being a novelty and it doesn’t go anywhere anymore. Hey, even the Marsa flyover is technically a novelty… Finally, you’ve managed to figure it out all by yourself! Short-term solutions, my friend.

Do say: “Traffic is an important issue on a small and over-populated island like Malta, and we should tackle this problem in the most innovative, holistic and environmentally-friendly way possible.”

Don’t say: “When this flyover inevitably ends up being yet another congestion zone, I can’t wait for them to build another one right on top of