Bike to work

By Morexette Marie B. Erram, Zena V. Magto USJ-R Journalism Intern |September 14,2018 - 09:36 PM

take your pick. Curious children marvel at the parked bicycles in front of the Cebu City Hall.
CDN file photo.

Cebu City traffic solution

More often than not, bicycles are associated with children or sports enthusiasts.

But for some employees of the Cebu City government, headed by City Administrator Nigel Paul Villarete, the bicycle has become a transportation alternative in their bike-to-work advocacy.

Villarete and other City Hall employees pedal their way through the busy streets of Cebu City during rush hours on weekdays to get to work.

The practice is cost efficient and it saves them a lot of time from getting stuck in monstrous traffic jams.

Villarete said his love for cycling goes all the way back to his childhood when he would freely go around Cebu City with his bike.

Recently, Villarete relived his cheerful childhood memories by biking from his house in Barangay Guadalupe all the way to his office.

He traversed inner roads not commonly used by motorists and arrived safely at City Hall all in good time.

The experience prompted Villarete to ride his bicycle to work as often as possible.

“I usually bike to work three to four times a week. I bike to work when the weather permits,” said Villarete.

“Great if you can bike to work every day, but then again we have constraints,” he added.

As city administrator, Villarete rallies for the creation of a protected bike lane in Cebu City.

He also calls on city residents to consider biking to work even just once a week to help ease Cebu City’s traffic problems.

“I would really appreciate if you bike to work once a week. At least you are contributing one day of your life alleviating traffic,” said Villarete.

Villarete and his trusty bike. The city administrator is just one of several City Hall employees who bike their way to work
photo/ NIGEL PAUL VILLARETE’S FB page

Villarete’s call did not go unheeded by lawyer Delight Ladot, a member of his staff.

Ladot said that she started to ride her bicycle to work when the traffic condition along Natalio Bacalso Avenue became unbearable.

“I also want to set an example for my coworkers and my friends, too. I live in Barangay Mambaling wherein heavy traffic is now a daily struggle,” said Ladot.

Like Ladot, Riecel Jane Camacho, an employee of the Cebu City Treasurer’s Office (CTO), began biking to work when the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) started the construction of its underpass project in Mambaling which resulted to heavy traffic within the city’s southern villages.

Camacho, who belongs to a family of biking enthusiasts, turned to her trusty bicycle to battle the dreadful traffic in barangays Punta Princesa and Mambaling along the intersection of C. Padilla and F. Vestil Streets.

Camacho, 45, said biking to work does not only save her money but also give her good exercise.

And what used to be a one hour commute to City Hall from her place is now only 30
minutes.

“There is no reason to be late if one knows how to adjust. For me, I cope with adjusting my travel time to work by using my bicycle,” said
Camacho.

According to Villarete, aside from being eco-friendly and time-saving, bicycles can actually solve mounting congestion in the city’s roads.

“If you’re riding a car, you are actually utilizing a bigger portion of the road space, and there’s only one of you. If you’re riding a bus, there’s 60 of you, but you are only utilizing a certain portion of the road. The cars are the number one cause of congestion, not the buses and the jeepneys because they carry more people per square meter,” explained Villarete.

The city administrator believed that Cebu’s traffic situation would greatly improve if more people use bicycles instead of cars.

“When you bike to work, you are taking one less car from the road. What we want here is to just let people know that biking really is an option,” said Villarete.

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