Muscat: Muscat Municipality has said locking bicycles to lampposts in public places will attract fine and jail. “This distorts the city and anyone acts against the decision will be subject to legal action,” the civic body said in a statement. According to the statement, violators will be slapped with a fine not exceeding RO 100 or will be imprisoned for a period not exceeding two months or both. The decision received varied reactions with some considering it as necessary to maintain the beauty of the city. Others suggested that alternative solutions should be found so that bicycle owners could keep their bikes from being stolen or destroyed.
“I think it is important before making any decision to find solutions to a problem. Bicycle users are already facing the problem of lack of designated tracks to ride, now they are being fined,” said Saleh al Balushi, a social activist. Khairullah Mohammed, a cleaning worker in one of the buildings, said he is now confused where to park his bike. “I can’t carry the bike into my building so I keep it on the street, sometimes locking it on a lamppost,” he said. Said al Sarhani, a cyclist who along with his 9-year-old son rode bicycles in Netherlands to mark Oman’s National Day, defended the decision with reasons. “Locking a bike to the lampposts is dangerous because it may cause electric shock,” he said.