Pulse have announced their first set of proposals in their bid to win the upcoming KSU elections. This set of proposals are a big part of Pulse’s campaign, titled “Ilkoll Flimkien Ghal Universita Ahjar”, and relate to the matter of transport and more so, parking. In a press conference on Thursday, presidential candidate Jean Claude Scicluna, spoke about how the responsibility for the implementation of these was to fall on the shoulders of Vice-Presidential candidate Carly Zarb.
The keynote proposal is one called the ‘Parking Optimisation Project‘. This project is a pioneering one that will take place in Car Park 6, near the Gateway building. The idea centres around architectural plans which will change the orientation of the parking spaces from being at 90 degrees to being at 45 degress. Such a change would, Zarb said, result in an 11% increase in parking spaces in this specific area; which translates to roughly 20 new parking spaces. This is merely a pilot project, Zarb said, but if successful, it would be expanded to the rest of University’s car parks in the hope of optimising those as well and creating further parking spaces.
Speaking to members of the Pulse electoral team afterwards for clarification, it was confirmed that this optimisation plan does not go against the MEPA Plan for the area which University falls under. The current plan stipulates that whilst there are specific areas that can only be designated as car parks; how one uses such areas is entirely up to the land owner and there is no stipulated limit to how many parking spaces one can fit into the designated areas. This is where Pulse’s project comes into play; optimising the parking areas that already exist.
Aside from this project, Pulse also released another 14 transport related proposals. These are wide and varied, with some involving the continuation of proposals which are already in place, such as the student subsidies on motorcycle lessons and the existing plant-a-tree for every 50 parking permits, which are both proposals.
Others meanwhile are altogether new ideas. One such idea is working and lobbying towards the building of a bridge over the Birkirkara bypass between campus and Swatar – a bridge similar the one that already exists over the Mriehel bypass. Another new idea is that of a motorbike rain shelter; something which, whilst there is a bicycle rain shelter present, does not exist yet. The installation of rubbering around the walls of the University ring road is another interesting proposal released today; with Zarb saying that this will be with the point of making sure that people do not damage their vehicles whilst trying to park along the ring road. Pulse in KSU, Zarb said, would also look into subsidising the usage of electrical bikes at University, incentivise car pooling and provide a minibus shuttle service at peak hours from parking areas in the vicinity of campus, such as Swatar and San Gwann.
Amongst the proposals released today as well, one finds two proposals which are common to what SDM have released in the past days (a recap of which will be provided in tomorrow’s electoral segment). Both organisations will be campaigning towards the expansion of the government’s free public transport scheme to all University students, whilst both will also lobby with the authorities in question for a safer subway from the Msida Skatepark. The subway has drawn strong criticism from KSU over the past year, and they have time and time again put pressure on these same authorities to take action over the situation. Whichever team of candidates will be successful come next week, we can be sure that such pressure will continue.
These 15 proposals came as a precursor to Pulse’s manifesto launch.
The Yuppie meanwhile will be providing a similar recap of all of SDM’s released proposals so far, tomorrow morning, as we strive to keep providing the best and most up to date coverage of this year’s KSU Elections as we can.