By: Nestle L. Semilla March 28,2015 - 01:36 AM

Road safety alert up for 5,000 bike riders for Earth Hour night ride

Tonight’s voluntary power switch-off at 8:30 p.m. in Cebu City for Earth Hour will be reinforced by bicycle riders.

City Hall expects as many as 5,000 to join a bike run through 12 barangays, starting  7 p.m. at I.T. Park in Lahug.

Motorists may be surprised to be sharing the road at night with an unusual mass of bikers on main streets such as Gorord Avenue and Osmeña Boulevard.

This has become part of a growing tradition in Cebu City for the annual celebration of Earth Hour.

No traffic rerouting for vehicles is arranged tonight since the bikers will be using only one lane in the barangays they pass through, said Joy Tumulak of the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom).

With such a large group of bikers on the road, extra safety measures are needed.

To ensure an accident-free night ride,  Citom set four conditions which were agreed on yesterday by bike run organizers.

Organizers have to put two marshals in each of 26 street intersections they pass.

To be visible, the marshals must wear reflectorized vests or shirts.

Organizers have to coordinate with barangay officials and tanods , as well as the city police for safety instructions.

The starting point is  IT Park, going through Salinas Drive, turning left to Gorordo Avenue and right to Escario  Street.

Bikers then go down Osmena Boulevard to Fuente Osmena and then return to Osmena Boulevard and on to P del Rosario Street, Imus New Road then to General Maxilom Avenue, Gorordo Avenue to Cardinal Rosales Street then San Jose dela Montana back to I.T. Park.

Earth Hour is a global initiative to raise public awareness about the environmental  impact of carbon emissions.

Households and establishments in Cebu and the rest of the country are switching off lights and power for an hour starting 8:30. p.m.


Here’s what else to expect today:

Bicycle racks will be unveiled at 1 p.m. outside Cebu City Hall in Plaza  Sugbo at the back of the Tourist Police Station in City Hall.

The turnover by Smart Telecom is a project with Cebu City Councilor Ma. Nida Cabrera in compliance with City Ordinance 2408 which provides for shared priority bike lanes in designated roads and requires  establishments to put up bike racks.

Smart and and other Cebu corporate citizens and organizations will also plant mangroves in Tongo Islet, SRP, Cebu City.

“Earth Hour is symbolic day for our contributions in reducing our carbon emissions,” Cabrera said.

No bicycle lanes have actually been marked out yet in Cebu City, but a growing number of residents are using bikes for transportation and recreation.

Cabrera  said this will be the first bicycle racks in City Hall, and  that she hopes this encourages employees there to use bikes.

“We will put more.  This is just an initial phase. We continue to campaign that it will be prioritized by establishments in the city,” she said

She said she initiated installing bicycle racks in City Hall since city executives haven’t acted on it.

SM City, which already has bike racks, will be unveiling  new ones today beside the garden row near the covered parking area, said corporate communications manager RJ Leduna.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama emphasized the need for road safety in the bike run.

He said Citom’s conditions must be followed or the event would be canceled.

He said he couldn’t afford to hear reports of accidents or casualties on the road.


At the Mactan International Airport, operator GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation will shut off non-essential lighting from 8:30-9:30 p.m.

Both air- and landside neon signages and the high-voltage air-conditioning chiller will be turned off.

Lighting will be reduced at the domestic and international arrivals areas during those periods within the hour when there is less passenger traffic.

Merchants in the airport were encouraged to participate in the hour-long lights-off activity, said Estee Marie Patiño-Plunket, Head of Corporate Affairs.


Metro Department & Super Metro Stores will join  as well.

Retail establishments will switch off lights and unplug all electrical devices for one hour.  This will simultaneously be done across all 42 Metro Stores depending on the store’s regular closing time.


Key city and municipal officials will lead the ceremonial switch-off in  SM City Cebu and SM City Consolacion.

Both malls will dim their lights by 50 percent including, perimeter lights in the hallways, as well as tenants signages, and all lighted logos at the mall façade.

Earth Hour began in Sydney in 2007, when two million people switched off their lights.

By 2011, Earth Hour was reported as “the world’s largest campaign for the planet” with over 135 countries and territories participating in the celebration.

This year’s  global tagline is “Use Your Power to Change Climate Change.”

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