QC gov't pushes for protected bike lanes, active transport infrastructure

QC gov't pushes for protected bike lanes, active transport infrastructure
In this photo released on June 2, 2020, cyclist group Bikers United Marshalls set up an improvised bicycle lane along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City.
Bikers United Marshalls Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte recently kickstarted the implementation of the first phase of a bike lane project for cyclists in the city, the local government said Tuesday.

The project, which the LGU described as a short-term initiative that aims to provide a safe place for people who have shifted to biking as an alternative means of transportation amid the community quarantine, includes the improvement and repair of existing bike lanes and the placement of traffic separation devices.

Under the project, the city government said in a statement, potential bike lane routes have also been identified "to improve route connectivity while route signages and bike parking areas will also be included in the network."

“More and more people are riding bikes to get to work, which is actually good for the environment because people get to avoid COVID-19 risk and lessen traffic. We need to support them by giving them safer lanes, and at the same time, educating them to make their journey more pleasant and comfortable,” Belmonte said.

Over a thousand Filipinos chose to bike to work in June amid restrictions on public transportation, despite the lack of safe bike lanes along major roads.

In August, the Department of the Interior and Local Government signed joint administrative order 2020-0001 with the health, public works, and transportation departments “to address the limited transportation options for essential travel and curtail transmissions in public transportation.”

It also urged local governments on Monday to construct active transport infrastructure, such as protected biking lanes and walking paths, to provide alternative modes of transportation amid the lack of options for commuters during the pandemic.

In the long term, the mayor said, the city government also intends to put up permanent bike lanes that will be integrated with the planned bus system routes and pedestrian network. The LGU also disclosed that the city government, through the Department of Public Order and Safety, also started distributing free helmets to bicycle riders.

Earlier, the Quezon City Council reduced the fines imposed by Ordinance No. SP-2942 on bicycle riders who will be caught not wearing safety helmets while passing through Quezon City streets.

From P1,000, P3,000 and P5,000, the reduced fines are now set at P300, P500 and P1,000 for the first, second and third offense, respectively.

"The purpose of this new ordinance is not to punish bicycle riders, but to highlight each rider's right to safety on the road," said Belmonte.

— Franco Luna 


Disclosure: Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is a shareholder of Philstar Global Corp., which operates digital news outlet Philstar.com.



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