(The Freeman) | Updated June 26, 2014
CEBU, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he is not against the idea of putting up bicycle lanes in the city as proposed by Councilor Nida Cabrera.
But Rama said that the “practical and reasonable” aspect of the proposal should also be considered since there are roads that do not even have sidewalks.
Cabrera has proposed an ordinance to provide bike lanes in designated roads in the city and establish appropriate traffic rules and regulations.
Rama pointed out that if one road would be constructed with a bike lane, then other roads must have one, too.
“I am not against it, but they should always remember nga when you will have (a) bicycle when you go home, there might be a lane. But going to your house, is there a lane?” he questioned. “From your house to your point of destination, be sure gyud nga naa gyoy lane nga agian,” he added.
Further, the Department of Transportation and Communications suggests that if bike lanes would be put up, they should be closely monitored.
Engineer Nigel Paul Villarete of the DOTC said that most of the road accidents involve bikers and pedestrians who are hit by speeding vehicles.
He said that if a shared lane for bikers and other vehicles would be set up, roads should be monitored to protect and avoid accidents.
During a public hearing yesterday of the proposed ordinance, the Department of Public Works and Highways and Cebu City Traffic Operations Management, as well groups of bikers, expressed their support on the matter.
Doctor Henry Dimaano of Bike for Medical Benefits explained that biking is the safest means of transportation, aside from the fact that it is fast and efficient.
“Aside from being healthy, biking is also an environmental friendly,” he said.
DPWH Head Engineer Fernando Cruz also said that their office suggests that the bike lanes would only cover wide roads.
Based on the proposed ordinance, it would need a 1.5-meter space of the main road in order to accommodate the bike lanes.
“We could provide that. I think it is more than enough to provide the shared bike lanes,” said Cruz.
CITOM executive director Rafael Yap said that bike lanes would also help reduce heavy traffic but added that they are still contemplating on the issues that need to be addressed in order to have a positive response during the implementation.
“We still need to verify everything to address the questions from the public if they will have, since we are tasked to enforce the law,” he stated.
Meanwhile, skate boarders also appeal for their own share of the road.
However, Mayor Rama said that the group should go to his office first and speak to him regarding the matter.
“(Skaters on national roads are) adding more hazard to the streets, dili gani makaapil ang mga sikad sa national roads,” he said.
Rama clarified though that he is not against the appeal of the skaters, but there should be rules that the group should observe. —/ATO (FREEMAN)