‘Bicycle lanes in Cebu City a matter of political will’

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05:34 AM March 31st, 2014

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By: Edison Delos Angeles, March 31st, 2014 05:34 AM

Members of the Sugbo Bikers gather at the South Road Properties (SRP) on Day 1 of the opening of the seawall roadside for recreational activities like walking, running and biking.

Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgar Labella yesterday vowed to push for bicycle lanes in major thoroughfares of the city as proposed in a draft ordinance he said would face some difficulties, which can be overcome with political will.

More than 300 cyclists of the newly formed Sugbo Bikers yesterday gathered at the South Road Properties (SRP) for their oath-taking.

The SRP seawall roadside is now open the entire day of Sunday for recreational activities like walking, running and biking under a City Council resolution requested by Robert Pangilinan of Sugbo Bikers.

Labella said passing a separate bike lane ordinance “would take a lot of work.”

The required 1.5 meter space for a bike lane would need a lot of changes since the city’s road network is congested. Road safety is also a concern.

“There should be a balance of interests in this matter. That is why there is a need to study the proposal seriously. But the ordinance has raised the awareness of city residents about the environment,” the vice mayor said.

“As an bike enthusiast myself, I am very open to this. If this ordinance will be passed, I will ride a bicycle to office if time permits,” Labella said.

“Our City Council is already tackling the idea of having a bicycle lane in the city aside from the existing bike lane at the SRP. We are carefully tackling the pros and cons.”

People would save money by riding bicycles in designated roads in Cebu City.

“As fuel prices rise, so do fare rates. A lot of people would ride to school or work than ride public transportation,” he said.

Regulations

Councilor Nida Cabrera, author of the proposed ordinance on bike lanes dubbed “Tindak Sugbo Lanes”, said the measure would create a Tindak Sugbo Board that would regulate bicycle lanes and permits of bike users.

Councilor Gerry Carillio said setting up bike lanes is a matter of political will. He said they are encouraging commercial establishments to put up bike racks to encourage the public to use bicycles.

One of those who attended the celebration, Govinda Jean of Kadangyan, welcomed this development.

“We all have equal rights to the road. If Manila was able to make it happen, there is no reason why Cebu City can’t,” Govinda said.

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