Rains slow down demarcation of Davao’s bike lanes

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 25 June) – The demarcation of Davao City’s 72-kilometer bicycle lanes has been slowed down by sporadic downpours, City Transportation and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) head Dionisio Abude said.

Abude said in a text message that their personnel have so far demarcated by paint some 20 kilometers, or 27.8-percent of the 72-km target, since they started last June 9.

The official said he could not ascertain when the demarcation would be completed as he could not predict the weather.

A trisikad observes the use of the bike lane on the right along Mabini Boulevard in Davao City on Wednesday (24 June 2020) but still violates social distancing protocol with two passengers on board. The City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) has created bike lanes lately as more and more people adopted the mode of transportation with the limited availability of public transport because of the quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. MindaNews photo by GG BUENO

“When it will be completed? I cannot start because we cannot predict the weather. We can paint if there is no rain,” he said.

He earlier said the work would be completed in 15 to 20 days.

Two-way bicycle lanes are to be marked along Ma-a Road, MacArthur Highway, Quimpo Boulevard, Quezon Boulevard, Quirino Avenue, F. Torres Street, Cabaguio Avenue, Leon Garcia, JP Laurel Avenue, Quinones Road and R. Castillo Street, while one-way lanes will be marked along San Pedro Street, Pichon Street and Claro M. Recto Avenue.

Mayor Sara Duterte has ordered the temporary suspension of bicycle registration and collection of fees effective immediately as more Dabawenyos are now using bicycles amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Executive Order 40 released on Friday said the city government will allow the use of bicycle lanes during the period of suspension while the City Council of Davao harmonizes the conflicting provisions in the Comprehensive Transport and Traffic Code pertaining to bicycles and the 2010 Bicycle Ordinance of Davao City.

Section 1 of the EO provides that the requirements in the Traffic Code that would be suspended are the license required, registration, and attachment of license plate; and under the Bicycle Ordinance, the registration. The collection of penalties in both local laws have likewise been suspended.

“The temporary suspension of the implementation of some provisions of the two ordinances would allow Dabawenyos the use of the bike lanes without fear of penalty for non-registration,” the order said.

It added that the suspension would last until the state of public health emergency is lifted, or until the amendments harmonizing the Traffic Code and the Bicycle Ordinance have been approved or otherwise lifted by the city mayor.

Section 4 of EO 40 states that the 72-km bicycle lane marked by the CTTMO may be used by all persons on bicycles, except pedal-operated passenger tricycles for hire.

The order prohibits all motorized transport vehicle to use, park or stop on the marked bicycle lanes while pedestrians are told to avoid walking along the bicycle lanes.

It also requires cyclists to wear helmet, headgear or protective head covering; use reflectors, or headlights, or rear lights or any other warning lights attached to the bicycle or on his/her person.

Bicycles made for single riders should not carry more than one passenger while tandem bicycles will be allowed only for the capacity for which it is made.

Riders with cargo will not carry the same with their hands while operating the bike, nor place the same on their handlebars or along the wheelbase, and cargo must be placed in a wearable backpack or on a basket or carrier in front of the handlebars or behind the seat. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)