EDITORIAL — More respect for bike lanes

The Freeman
EDITORIAL � More respect for bike lanes

Fed up with having to wait a long time for a ride, or perhaps looking to save money on fuel, or even just wanting the health benefits of exercise while heading to home or work, more and more people in Cebu City are turning to bicycles as modes of transportation.

According to the Sugbo Bike Lanes Board (SBLB), Cebu City this year recorded an average of 6,182 cyclists using the road per day.

"There is a 9% increase of cyclists in Cebu City alone from 2021 to 2023," said Elizar Sabinay Jr. of Cebu Leads Foundation, which is a member of the SBLB.

The group is now pushing for the city government to do more to encourage using the bicycle as an alternative mode of personal transportation.

This is all well and good. More people on bicycles can translate to fewer vehicles on the road, and that means less traffic and even less air pollution. As mentioned earlier, there are also the added health benefits one gets from exercise on the bicycle.

The bike lanes were opened in 2020 when the worst of the pandemic shutdown barred public utility jeepneys (PUJs) from plying their usual routes; those who had to report to work preferred to bike there instead.

However, the problem is that until now many drivers still don’t recognize bike lanes. Many private vehicles and especially PUJs still intrude into them, effectively cutting off bike riders and forcing them to have to use the regular motor vehicle lane.

Not only that, some private vehicle owners park their cars right on the bike lanes. Then again, not just private vehicle owners do this; some barangays actually park their government vehicles in the said lanes while some small businesses like eateries and vulcanizing services take up part of the street.

Yes, we see city personnel deployed to make sure motor vehicles don’t intrude into bike lanes, but they are too few and not deployed as often.

There are also no bike lanes in streets where they can actually benefit those who use bicycles.

If the city is to promote using bicycles as a mode transport, then more must be done to protect those who use their bicycles on the road.

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