Quarantine enforcers apprehend 40 drivers parking on bike lanes
PNP deputy chief for operations Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar said using lanes reserved for bicycles not only disrespects bicycle riders but also puts their lives at risk.
Michael Varcas, file

Quarantine enforcers apprehend 40 drivers parking on bike lanes

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - June 24, 2020 - 8:13pm

MANILA, Philippines — At least 40 drivers of private vehicles have been apprehended for parking on bicycle lanes in Quezon City, the enforcement arm of the coronavirus task force disclosed on Wednesday.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, said all the violators were issued with citation tickets for illegal parking by operatives of the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG).

This comes a day after the task force issued a warning amid reports of private cars parking on bike lanes—effectively forcing bike riders onto other lanes—that surfaced on social media. 

RELATED: Car drivers warned: Don't use, park on bike lanes 

“This should serve as a lesson and a warning for the motorists to respect the spaces intended for bicycle riders,” said Eleazar.

"This operation will continue until we are able to institute discipline among the motorists that bicycle lanes are for bicycle riders and they have no business using them as parking or encroach in these lanes to overtake or to avoid traffic jams," he added. 

Commuters have resorted to biking to their workplaces amid the lack of public transportation options in the first week of general community quarantine, prompting calls for protected bike lanes, particularly along the EDSA thoroughfare. 

At a hearing that same day, Rep. Ron Salo (Kabayan Party-list) said: "Inefficiency in public transport became more glaring as general community quarantine was implemented...2.03 million workers are currently without transportation going to work, or P1 billion in economic losses a day."

According to a 2015 technical report by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, 88% of households in Metro Manila do not own cars and depend almost solely on public transportation, while the remaining 12% own at least one.

Police Brig. Gen. Eliseo Cruz, director of the PNP-HPG said his men first apprehended 21 drivers of private cars during a similar operation conducted on Tuesday afternoon along Quezon Avenue near the corner of Epifanio delos Santos Avenue in Quezon City. 

“This morning, we deployed our personnel in the area along Quezon Avenue and apprehended 19 more drivers of private vehicles,” said Cruz.

"We will continue this operation not only to discipline motorists but also to protect our bicycle riders," he added. 

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