City to penalize motorists using bike lane

IT WILL now be a violation should other vehicles, aside from bicycles, use the bicycle lane in Cebu City.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said it is a violation to the traffic code, considering the bike lane is being established to accommodate the bicycles which are non-engine.

“It’s only devoted to bicycles because bicycles do not have an engine and the movement is not like those with engine,” said Labella.

Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) head Alma Casimero said the board in charge of overseeing the bicycle lane has not released yet the guidelines and implementing rules and regulations for the bike lanes.

As of now, Casimero said the CCTO will use the City Ordinance No. 2408 or The Sugbo Bike Lanes Ordinance as the basis of the enforcement.

City Ordinance 2408 was approved by the City Council in 2014 which provides for shared priority bike lanes in designated roads in the city and establishes traffic rules, regulations, funds and penalties for violations.

Casimero, though, clarified there is no penalty yet to be imposed on those who will use the bike lane.

Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama, who sits as the vice chair of the board, said the matter will be brought up once they have their board meeting.

Rama, though, assured penalties may be imposed on those motorists who will use the bike lane.

“It will only be congesting the lane,” he said.

Labella said the board, which is chaired by former councilor Gerry Carillo, still continues to evaluate the bike lane in the city.

Labella also said traffic impact is still being observed, especially now that the City started painting the routes of the bike lane.

“I instructed Gerry Carillo, while we already established some in certain areas in the city, that we have to consult the stakeholders and also some experts in transportation,” said Labella.

The comprehensive bike ordinance will also be implemented in Mandaue City as it was passed by the council on first reading.

The council passed the draft ordinance on first reading during the 63rd regular session on Sept. 23, 2020, where it was referred to the Committee on Laws and ordinances.

Mandaue City Councilor Jimmy Lumapas, the author of the ordinance and the chairman of the Committee on Transportation, said that the ordinance was designed for the safety and security of the cyclists, considering bicycle as alternative transportation these days.

Lumapas claimed that the city of Mandaue is the first city in Metro Cebu to have formulated a comprehensive bike ordinance.

In June, the Mandaue City government started to install four-feet wide bike lanes on the streets of Mandaue.

Through the ordinance, the city has planned to install plastic barriers along the bike lanes, Lumapas said.

Stated in the ordinance are guidelines on wearing of helmet, reflective vest, installing of blinker, brakes, overloading, backriding, counterflowing and others.

Defensive violations such as no helmet, no blinker and no reflective vest, will be fined P50.

Offensive violations such as counterflowing, overloading, no brakes, backriding and not staying on the bike lanes, will be fined P100.

Those who cannot pay must render one-hour community service to the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team).

In case the bicycle will be involved in an accident or the cyclist is intoxicated leading the Team enforcer to believe that the cyclist’s physical and mental control is diminished, the bicycle will be confiscated or impounded in accordance with the Public Towing and Impounding Ordinance.

The Team personnel are tasked to implement the provisions of this ordinance to ensure strict compliance.

The fines will be paid to the City Treasurer’s Office or the Team office.

The ordinance encourages all establishments whether public or private to provide five to 10 percent of the total parking lot of the establishment for the installation of bicycle racks.

If the establishment does not have a parking lot, it is still encouraged to install at least one bicycle rack.

Establishments such as, but not limited to, malls and gas stations are also encouraged to set up a bike repair station that offers free service to the public.

Lumapas hopes that other neighboring local government units will also formulate a bike ordinance to have continuity in their ordinance.

Meanwhile, the bike ordinance still needs to be passed by the Committee on Laws and go through a public hearing in which a group of bicyclists will be invited to review the ordinance.

Once the ordinance will have no objections, it will proceed to the second and final reading. (JJL / KFD)


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