By ZASH DEL PILAR
USJ-R Mass Com Intern
Thursday, June 26, 2014
BIKERS are looking forward to the implementation of the shared priority bike lanes in Cebu City.
Tindak Sugbo Community gave its full support to the proposed “Tindak Sugbo Lanes Ordinance” proposed by Councilor Nida Cabrera.
A public hearing was conducted on the proposal yesterday.
Cabrera said that there is a need to establish shared priority bike lanes and bike-friendly zones in order to safeguard bikers from accidents.
Tony Dimataga of the Cebu Extreme Bikers Union said that bike lanes can increase perception of safety and will encourage more bikers.
He also said that through a designated bike lane, private and public drivers can finally recognize that cyclists are also road users.
Another Tindak Sugbo member, Dr. Henry Dimaano, spoke of the medical benefits of biking during the public hearing.
Dimaano said biking can benefit the cardiovascular system and metabolism, which are probable problems as one grows older.
Environmentalist Joel Lee also expressed that a bike lane may encourage more tourists, particularly biking enthusiasts.
People would also be enticed to exercise and the streets would be more peaceful as the city also becomes environmentally friendly.
Engr. Fernando Cruz of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 also offered support for the proposal.
But he said bike lanes are only appropriate for wider roads and should not be allowed in narrow roads.
DPWH 7 suggested Osmeña Boulevard, Archbishop Reyes Ave. and Gorordo Ave. as the most feasible roads in the city.
There is no budget for the paints to mark the designated bike lanes though so Cruz suggested that this be incorporated in the ordinance.
A width of 1.5 meters is enough for a shared bike lane.
Paul Villarete, former city planning and development coordinator, suggested a separate road to be designated as bike lanes saying it would be easier to protect cyclists if they are not on the same road as regular vehicles.
Cebu City Traffic Operations Management Executive Director Rafael Yap said his office is not against the proposed ordinance but is wary of possible social and technical issues that may arise during the implementation.
Yap said it is Citom’s job to ensure the safe and unhindered flow of traffic so it is in the position to keep an eye on bikers who may commit violations.