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Bike lanes on major thorougfares sought

MANILA, Philippines - In a bid to promote good health and environment protection, a Davao City congressman has filed a bill seeking to put bike lanes along major thoroughfares in the country.

Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles said bike lanes would encourage commuters to bike their way to work.

"Biking is an alternative way of physical exercise that has long been promoted not only in the Philippines but also globally," he said.

Nograles added that biking provides commuters a cheaper alternative to get to their destinations while saving the environment from harmful emissions.

Under House Bill 3952, the government will create the local bikeways office,  which shall be responsible for identifying roads and highways to be provided with bike lanes.

The LBO  shall be in charge of implementing the policies, rules and regulations as provided in the proposed statute.

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The powers and functions of the LBO include the task to prepare plans, specifications, manage the construction and maintenance of a bikeway on all thoroughfares and roads.

It is also responsible for the development, management and implementation of the project in coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways, Land Transportation Office and other government agencies concerned.

The LBO will also establish provision of safe and strategic parking facilities and road signages as well as conduct education and information drives for the benefits of using the bicycles in coordination with the LTO in order to promote the usage of the same.

Another function of the LBO is to maintain and keep a bicycle registry where the LBO, within 60 days from approval of the proposed law, shall formulate a system of procedure pertinent to bicycle registration.

The bill includes the creation of a bicycle park in each city or municipality where provisions are present such as but not limited to bikeways, bike parking areas and similar infrastructure.

The City or Municipal shall fund the bicycle parks by allocating 30 percent of their respective revenues raised from the miscellaneous activities like parking and license fees.

Bikers who use the bike lanes have to follow duties and obligations as prescribed under the bill such as to ride on any public road or street provided that it has been designated as a bikeway except on highways or where signs prohibiting bikes have been posted, among others.

Some restrictions imposed upon the cyclist and the right to use a bike is that no person shall carry more persons than it was designed to carry except when another regular seat or trailer towed by the bicycle is present as well as no person riding a bicycle shall cling to another vehicle while in the designated bikeways.

The bill provides the penalty of a fine of not more than P10,000 to any person who violates the provision of the Act.

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