By Josef T Ramos /Manila Times
In a groundbreaking meeting, some of the biggest race organisers and cycling enthusiasts in the country paved the way to promote the bicycle as the country’s major mode of transportation while the nation undergoes various modes of community quarantine.
In the morning Zoom meeting, Bert Lina of the Lina Group of Companies’ Air21, Moe Chulani of LBC Ronda Pilipinas and Jeremy Go of Go For Gold discussed that it was time to establish bike lanes on major roads and highways, especially during this period of pandemic restrictions.
“There is a need to develop a proof-of-concept design, adopting the bike lanes that have already been launched,” Donna Lina, the president of Le Tour de Filipinas and the daughter of Bert Lina, said during the meeting. “The group could come up with a proposal to fix the existing bike lanes.”
“Ronda Pilipinas launched two cycling lanes in Iloilo and Antipolo two years ago.
The bike lanes are maintained by private groups,” said Chulani, noting that biking lanes have been built also in Pasig City, Marikina City and Quezon City.
Go, for his part, stated that cyclists must also follow traffic regulations for their own safety while in a separate lane along national or city or municipal roads.“A separate bike lane must be created, and cyclists must also learn to follow the traffic regulations,” he said.
Le Tour de Filipinas race project manager Sunshine Joy Mendoza, 7-Eleven Cliqq Roadbike Philippines AIR21’s Ric Rodriguez, Lina chief of staff Titus Reyes and national team coaches Ednalyn Hualda and Reinhard Gorantes also joined the conversation to create rules and regulations on bike lanes.
PhilCycling, headed by Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Abraham Tolentino, was represented during the meeting by POC chairman Bert Lina and POC board member Jun Lomibao.
Race organisers are one with the government in helping to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease and making cycling safe as a form of public transportation.
The organisers intend to expand the bike-lane advocacy’s reach with the help of the POC and the Philippine Sports Commission.
They vowed to lobby for the 2016 House Bill No 174 of Rep. Karlo Nograles and Rep. Jericho Jonas Nograles for the creation of a local bikeways office.
The organisers also hope that Senate Bill 1518 filed by Sen. Pia Cayetano for the network of pop-up bicycle lanes during the pandemic would materialise soon.
Under the general community quarantine guidelines, cycling is one of the activities highly encouraged by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
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