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Cycling chiefs call for ‘bike culture’ in PH streets

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 04:02 AM May 20, 2020

RIDE OF THE TIMES Bicycle stores, like those found on Raon Street in Quiapo, Manila, are enjoying brisk sales lately as public transportation remains suspended due to the lockdown. The country’s top cycling organizations met online on Tuesday to issue a collective call for the promotion of a “biking culture,” as they pledged to help government efforts to set up bike lanes on major roads. —MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

The country’s cycling heavyweights have collectively joined the call to install bicycles as an important mode of transportation in the new normal caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis.

PhilCycling chair Bert Lina of Air21 led the online organizational gathering of cycling stakeholders via Zoom as they pledged to assist government efforts in setting up bike lanes on major roads.

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7 Eleven Cliqq Road Bike Philippines Air21’s Ric Rodriguez, Go For Gold’s Jeremy Go and Moe Chulani of LBC Ronda Pilipinas likewise backed a culture of cycling even after the quarantine period lapses.

“There is a need to develop a proof-of-concept design adopting the bike lanes that have already been launched,’’ Lina said. “The group could come up with a proposal to fix the existing bike lanes.’’

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Le Tour de Filipinas president Donna Lina and race project manager Sunshine Joy Mendoza joined the meeting with PhilCycling director Jun Lomibao and Lina’s chief of staff Titus Reyes in support to the efforts of lawmakers favoring the use of bicycles.

Bills filed

Representatives Karlo Nograles and Jericho Jonas Nograles filed in 2016 House Bill No. 174 that aims to establish a local bikeways office while Sen. Pia Cayetano filed last week Senate Bill No. 1518 that seeks to create a network of popup bicycle lanes and pathways. The group, which included national team coaches Ednalyn Hualda of Go For Gold and Reinhard Gorrantes of Philippine Navy-Standard Insurance, also expressed hope that Sen. Francis Tolentino will revive the cycling advocacy he pushed during his tenure as chair of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

Citing the Indonesian model, Rodriguez said a regular cycling holiday should be encouraged when all motorized vehicles are prohibited in specific areas within a city or municipality in favor of the bicycle at least once a week.

According to Chulani, bike lanes have already been laid out on the streets of Antipolo City, Iloilo City, Quezon City, Marikina City and Pasig City, among others, while Go emphasized that the configuration of bicycle lanes should prioritize the safety of riders.

“A separate bike lane must be created and cyclists must also learn to follow the traffic regulations,” Go said.

“Ronda Pilipinas launched two cycling lanes in Iloilo and Antipolo two years ago,” Chulani said. “The bike lanes are maintained by private groups.” INQ

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