Lane for peace-A A +A
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
WHATEVER may have occurred to the minds of our political leaders in the city, the common desire for a bicycle lane appears to be a sound idea. I am not quite sure, though, whether this is a better traffic preference to have at this time than the flyover.
But then, out of the blue, the political leadership that was at odds with each other, divisive to the point of decadence and destructiveness, had a change of attitude. We are suddenly confronted with the stunning news on page 6 of this daily: “Rama, council see eye to eye”!
It seems that one or the other of the city’s contending political factions--the city council or the camp of the incumbent mayor—suddenly changed tact. Now, it appears that they are having a political honeymoon. The five-column subhead to the main head of the story said: “Mayor supports proposal to create bicycle lanes, prefers it to implementing flyover projects.” What does this mean politically?
It should be remembered that the dominant political influence held on to by the city council comes from the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), whose recognized chief is former mayor and now south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña. With this prevailing development about the “bicycle lane” meeting of minds, does it imply that there is also a possibility of a political union?
There is something, though, about the remark of Mayor Rama that there should first be a road-widening effort before the bicycle lanes could be generated. Recall that the mayor has always been batting for road widening over the flyover project of the del Mars, whose politics jives with that of the south district’s Tom Osmeña. Could the move for the bicycle lane of Mayor Rama be a mere ploy to gain support for his long-held love of road widening?
Of course, there is a clear benefit and advantage in having a network of bicycle lanes in the city. The lanes are not only environment-friendly, their use is also clearly beneficial to the health of bicycle riders.
In the Philippines, funds may become a matter that might put on hold the bicycle lane project. “The Cebu City Council is asking for technical and financial assistance for a study that will find out if it is a good idea to have bike lanes.”
At the same time, the council is also asking the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) “to factor in the bicycle lanes in the engineering design of its future road widening and road improvement projects.”
Well, if having bike lanes will help us ensure a better and longer life, why should we not have it, too?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 16, 2013.