Davao City to demarcate roads for ‘bike lanes’

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 2 June) – Mayor Sara Duterte said the local government would put in place “bicycle lanes” demarcated by painted marking to implement the 2010 Bicycle Ordinance as the city transitions to the “new normal.”

A usual scene in Davao CIty’s major streets these days as more people use the bicycle in moving around the city with the quarantine imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. MindaNews file photo

Duterte said during her live interview over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) that the 10-year old ordinance, which has not been implemented since its passage, has “several requirements” but added the local government would push through with delineating the roads just to get the implementation started.

“There was a review on the Bike Ordinance. During the meeting [with the City Transport and Traffic Management Office or CTTMO], there was a presentation on what should be done. [CTTMO] has drafted the bike route and it would be demarcated. There are a lot of requirements but, for now, I said, to get this done immediately, we will start with the route – connecting the route – and put the demarcation since we have a paint machine. All other [requirements] in the ordinance will follow just so we can get started,” she said.

The mayor said the local government also received a directive from the national government to establish bicycle lanes.

“The CTTMO understands the urgency of this matter,” she added.

Authored by late Councilor Leo Avila, one of the city’s green champions, the Bicycle Ordinance of Davao City was passed when President Rodrigo R. Duterte was still the mayor and his eldest daughter, the incumbent mayor, was then the vice mayor.

The ordinance provides that the CTTMO shall designate the routes to be considered as “signed shared roadways or signed bike routes” and install signs along the routes to “indicate to the bicycle users that particular advantages exist in using the route and more importantly to serve as notice to motorized vehicle drivers that bicycle traffic is present.”

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año directed “provincial governors, city and municipal mayors to coordinate with neighboring LGUs to connect bicycle lanes and establish a bicycle road network,” acknowledging the limitation of mass transportation to cater to the commuting public.

He said the local governments have to establish bicycle lanes to “ensure the safety of the cyclists.”

He said “local governments must also ensure that all bicycle lanes are free from any obstruction to prevent any untoward road accidents.”

Año said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) encouraged bicycles as a mode of transportation during COVID-19 pandemic.

“As per the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine issued by the IATF, the use of bicycles and other non-motorized forms of transportation is strongly encouraged,” he said.

He added the LGUs must follow the Department of Transportation’s design of putting up plastic bollards, stencil markings, and signages in the designated bike lanes for the safety of the cycling public, especially in major thoroughfares where fast-moving buses and other huge vehicles are passing through the same road. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)