After almost two years into the pandemic, public transportation has yet to go back to normal. Passenger capacities and the number of serviceable vehicles are still limited. That’s why more and more people have turned to alternative modes of transportation—one of which is bicycles.
Thankfully, various local government units have done something accommodate bike commuters safely. And now, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Interior and Local Government have recognized these efforts in the first National Bike Lane Awards.
Way before the pandemic hit, Iloilo City was dubbed as the “Bike Capital of the Philippines.” Various streets got clear markings, while an 11km lane was put up along the diversion road, separated by plant boxes to protect cyclists from motor vehicles. And for that, the city bagged the Gold Award.
Pasig City is no different as it is advocating the use of bicycles even before the health crisis started. It started the Pasigreen Bike Share program in 2018, offering 100 bikes initially for use around Ortigas Center. The government even closes the busy Emerald Avenue every Sunday to all kinds of motorized vehicles. This gives residents and visitors a safe place to bike or exercise, and has earned Pasig City the Silver Award.
Quezon City may be late to the party, but is one of the most aggressive when it comes to pushing for cyclist protection. In fact, it has put up various guarded bike lanes that a lot of enthusiasts are raving about. This was enough for the city to be given the Bronze Award.
The national government (through Presidential Proclamation 1052) declares every fourth Sunday of November as “National Bicycle Day.” Even though our cycling infrastructure is still very much primitive, it’s better than having none at all. We just hope that this isn’t a fluke, and that the authorities are really serious about making our roads safer for everyone.