Freeman Cebu Sports

Finally, a bike lane!

ALLEZ - JV Araneta - The Freeman

Congratulations should be in order to the Cebu City Planning Development Office (CCPDO) for finally starting to put bicycle lanes into fruition. As I was going out early Tuesday for an early morning ride, I saw a bright green bicycle lane along V. Rama starting at the N. Bacalso junction. I know its been a long time coming but who cares, its finally here.

As you may have known by now, I am not in agreement in the implementation of bicycle lanes in Cebu. Reason 1: our roads are too narrow and we have too many cars, bikes, vendors, illegally parked vehicles in our streets. Reason 2: I want to see the support infrastructure for our cyclists in the workplace, like safe parking areas, and most importantly, a place to shower and relax comfortably before punching in for work. Reason 3: Our drivers and cyclist needs to be educated about bicycle lanes. Each believe that they have absolute rights on the roads. Just because there is a bicycle path means that a cyclist can just ride and feel entitled. Both should understand their responsibilities but I at time, I don’t think the do. Reason 4: Traffic Rules Implementation, or lack of it. We all know that traffic implementation in the city is mostly about parking fees, parking fees and parking fees. Some times I think that a there are more parking attendants than CITOM officers. There are times when you’ll see a clamped car here and there, but going after traffic violators? Nada. And one more thing- have you not noticed that a lot of traffic enforcers are directing traffic under  well-functioning traffic lights, and just a block away, where a corner is in a gridlock, there is no officer? Mmmm…

However, just because I am not supporting bicycle lanes doesn’t mean that I'm unhappy with this development. On the contrary, I am elated since this is a good start for the city and all cyclists that’s going to use our roads. A battle won here and there is already a battle won and someday, the war will be over.

How our bicycle lanes have work out in our country, well, it has a dubious record. The most famous bicycle lane was implemented in Marikina, Metro Manila. It kind of worked at the start but the continuity was never there. In the end, it relapsed. Today, there are only remnants of what used to be a Bicycle lane.

I don’t know if bicycle lane advocacy groups have been invited during the planning period. I doubt it. I got an email once about joining a bicycle lane advocacy group but I politely declined for the reasons I have said.

The feedback I got after posting photos of the bicycle lanes have mostly been doubtful about its success. Deep inside, I hope it will really, really work but considering the leadership of the city, it would be a stretch if the lanes would still be there in a month or two.

I hope our fervor for bicycle lanes don’t go away once the paint peels off.


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