Bike ban on Mactan-Mandaue bridges starts; Gwen says bridges are not built for the bikes

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo September 11,2019 - 07:25 PM

Triathletes use the Old Mactan-Cebu Bridge for the first time for the Ironman 70.3 Asia Pacific Championships. In previous Ironman races, the newer and wider Marcelo Fernan Bridge was utilized.
CDN FILE PHOTO/Tonee Despojo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Despite clamor from bike enthusiasts, there is no stopping the Mactan-Cebu Bridge Management Board (MCBMB) from completely banning bicycles from plying the two bridges connecting mainland Cebu and Mactan Island.

The ban will start Thursday, September 12, 2019.

The measure to ban bicycles from plying the bridges was agreed by the bridge board during their meeting on Tuesday afternoon, September 10, as a means of deterring the suicide incidents in the two bridges.

Read more: MCBMB to ban bicycles in Mactan-Mandaue bridges; DPWH to raise side railing to prevent suicide attempts

Read more: Bike enthusiasts speak out: Banning bikes on Mandaue-Mactan bridges isn’t the solution

This, however, drew flak among bike enthusiasts who said that banning them from the bridge is not the solutions.

Roland “Andoy” Remolino, the head coach of the Talisay Luigi Triathlon Group (TLTG), whose members often go on long rides on their bikes as part of their training, said bikers should not be banned as most of them are responsible enough and have proper road manners.

But Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, who chairs the MCBMB, maintained that the bridge was not built for bikes.

” [For those who wish to bike to exercise] Naay daghan uban nga maka-exercise sila. The bridges are not put there para maka-excercise sila. We cannot please everybody but let us not lose focus here because the bridge seemed to be a popular destination for those who wish to commit suicide. We would like to make it as difficult as possible for them. ,” Garcia told report reporters on Wednesday, September 11.

“In the process, if some recreational activities or advocacies are kind of disturbed, moingon lang una ko og ‘Excuse me lang una. Bring your recreational activities and advocacies to other areas kay we have not closed down the whole world anyway,'” the governor added.

Aside from the ban on bicycles, the MCBMB earlier announced that pedestrian traffic will also be limited.

Also beginning on Thursday, only the right sidewalk of the bridge will be opened for pedestrians.

Garcia said limiting pedestrian passage to one side of the bridges would make it easier for the MCBMB staff and assigned policemen to monitor if there are persons who wish to use the bridge to commit suicide.

The MCBMB also agreed that the height of the side railings of the two bridges will be increased to 180 centimeters or about six feet. The board has delegated the Department of Public Works and Highways in Central Visayas (DPWH-7), which is also a member of the bridge board, to carry on the structural modification./elb

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