Briones: Going green

On the go

It’s a great idea.

The establishment of bicycle lanes all over the metro will mean individuals who prefer a clean, green, non-motorized mode of transportation can get to and from their destinations in relative safety.

Already, some local government units (LGUs) have designated an exclusive space for bicyclists through the use of pavement markings like paint. I’m not sure, though, if they have plans to put up signs.

For bicyclists out there, their lane is directly adjacent to regular motor vehicle lanes and follows the same direction as motor vehicle traffic.

So if you see a bicyclist on the bicycle lane going in the opposite direction, or counter-flowing, they’re doing it wrong.

In Cebu City, the Council approved Ordinance 2408, or the Sugbo Bike Lanes Ordinance, all the way back in 2014. It provides for shared priority bicycle lanes in designated roads and establishes traffic rules, regulations, funds and penalties for violations.

It took the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic for the City to implement it. Otherwise, it would have been forgotten like so many other laws our legislators are so fond of dishing out like Article 287 of the Revised Penal Code, which allows annoying people to be charged for being annoying.

Let’s face it. If the government hadn’t suspended all forms of public transportation when it placed major urban areas in the archipelago on lockdown at the beginning of the health crisis, essential workers wouldn’t have resorted to using the bicycle.

And I am being very specific here since only essential workers were allowed out during enhanced community and general community quarantine.

Had their employers ferried them to and from work like they were supposed to, then all this would never have happened.

By the way, people who didn’t have a bicycle or didn’t know how to ride one were also forced to walk during this period. At least, those who could walk, anyway.

Does that mean the City Government will also set aside a separate lane for them? Oh wait, that’s what sidewalks are for.

You see, for a second there, I thought the City had forgotten about the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s implementation of the presidential directive to return to public use all roads and sidewalks “that have been appropriated for private use.” What with cars blocking pedestrians’ paths in places like, say, Jones Ave.

Maybe this will jog their memory.

At any rate, the situation has changed since restrictions were eased in the whole of Cebu.

Since public utility buses, modern jeepneys, taxis and tricycles were allowed back on the streets, fewer bicyclists have been spotted, which makes you question the need for a bicycle lane.

But hey, as I said, it’s a step in the right direction.


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