The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has come under heavy criticism from cycling enthusiasts after tweeting a picture of completed resurfacing works along the Sydenham Bypass.
Work between Dee Street and Belfast City Airport was finished at the weekend and included the resurfacing and painting of the existing cycle lane.
The post, which was shared on the DfI's official Twitter page, read: "Resurfacing was successfully completed on the Sydenham Bypass and adjacent cycle lane over the weekend between Dee Street and George Best Belfast City Airport."
However, a number of people responding to the tweet ridiculed the department for not installing a crash barrier to protect cyclists from oncoming traffic.
The conversation then descended into confusion as many people thought the cycle lane was brand new or operated a two-way system.
One Twitter user wrote: "Questions need to be asked as to why you would put a cycle lane here? If your aim is to connect people from Belfast to Holywood etc great, but nobody in their sane minds would use this - cycle lanes along Airport Road/Kinnegar would be far better! Outside thinking is required!"
Another added: "That is a disaster. No way I would cycle next to heavy traffic doing well over 50mph with no safety barrier. In any case, it doesn't go anywhere. So much for the much vaunted new cycling strategy."
Wesley Johnston, a commentator on Northern Ireland's roads and motorways, said the cycle lane has remained unchanged for 20 years but understood many of the comments as the lane was "laughably inadequate".
"The cycle lane is the bit on the left and the bit on the right is the strip that divides it from the main road," Mr Johnston explained.
"There's a lot of people who seem to think it's a two-way cycle lane which it's not. There's another one of these on the other side of the carriageway.
"It's not new. It's been there in that form for about 20 years and in some form since 1959 when the Sydenham Bypass first opened. All they have done is resurfaced it and put the cycle lane down exactly the way it was before. In that sense the reaction to it is a bit of an overreaction.
"Having said that, people's expectations of what a cycle lane should be are a good bit higher than that cycle lane. It's not a good cycle lane to use and it's not a good piece of cycling infrastructure."
Mr Johnston added the resurfacing works would have been a good time to install a crash barrier, but said it would have been a much more expensive project.
"I think what DfI have done here is put a picture up which contains a laughably inadequate cycle lane and now everybody is ridiculing them for it," he continued.
"I think that's fair because it's not a good piece of cycling infrastructure, it's not safe and you wouldn't send your kid along there."
A DfI spokesperson said: "The resurfacing scheme was carried out for safety reasons, to ensure the integrity of the strategic road network. The resurfacing of the cycle lane is not yet completed - there's still green surfacing to be applied at the accesses and further cycle motifs are to be marked out. In cycling terms, this does not change the provision that was previously in place; this does not mean, however, that this will remain unchanged in the longer term as Minster Mallon has clearly stated her intention to take further action to improve the attractiveness of our cycling infrastructure, including through designs and approaches that give more of us the confidence to cycle more often."