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Streets in Malta

Online since: 09. April 2013

Streets in Malta

You can’t compare the quality of Maltese streets to the streets in many other European countries. There are many potholes and the streets are often very narrow. The small highway between Birkirkara and Paceville is in a comparatively good condition. However, even on that road you cannot drive faster than 80 km/h, as this is the maximum speed limit on the island.

It’s not just the large number of potholes and the narrow streets that make driving on Maltese roads so dangerous - the surface of the roads is also a factor. Due to the high solar radiation in summer, the surfaces heat up so much that the moving cars’ tyres ‘polish’ them, making them very smooth, which increases the risk of sliding. And when it starts raining (frequently in winter, there are short and heavy rain showers) the sliding hazard increases further, and even driving slowly can be very dangerous. In addition, the insufficient drainage system often can’t deal with the large amounts of water pouring down, and so many small streams run down the streets and cause flooding. Water pools 20 to 30 cm in depth occur regularly. Paying attention to these pools is important (to avoid aquaplaning), but also look out for pedestrians, who are trying to escape the puddles! Usually, the water subsides 30 – 60 minutes after a rainfall.

Locals know how to deal with the rain. Our description of Malta’s rain, and what it can do, may seem rather unbelievable now, but it won’t be after you’ve experienced your first heavy shower. We recommend that both pedestrians and drivers stay home while it’s raining. And if you must go somewhere in the rain, allow more time for your trip.

S. Wagner

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