BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance mandating the installation of bicycle racks and bicycle parking areas in public parks and other feasible places around the city.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Lilia A. Fariñas also required the City Buildings and Architecture Office (CBAO) to identify the possible locations of the said proposed bicycle parking areas to allow the local government to determine the cost for the implementation of the proposed initiative.
The ordinance added that the amount as determined by the CBAO will be appropriated by the local government for the installation of the bicycle racks and bicycle parking areas in the city and that the proposed project cost will be sourced out from whatever available funding source of the city.
Fariñas claimed that cycling and the use of bicycles as an alternative means of transportation has been steadily gaining ground on account of the worsening traffic situation in most parts of the city, specifically the central business district area and due to the increased awareness that bicycles contribute in lessening air pollution and global warming because of the non-emission of bad smoke.
Earlier, the local legislative body approved a resolution that was signed by Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan that recognizes June 3 of every year as the celebration of Bicycle Day in the city.
Initially, the local government granted temporary access for bicycles to pass through Session Road from 5 am to 12 midnight to allow bicycle enthusiasts to freely roam around the central business district as a form of advocating the use of bicycles for the transportation needs of residents in the city’s 128 barangays.
The ordinance stipulated the city lacks the necessary infrastructure where bicycle owners and enthusiasts can secure and park their bicycles before walking towards their destinations in the city, thus, the need for the local government to install the appropriate bicycle racks and designate the appropriate bicycle parking areas around the central business district to aggressively promote cycling and the use of bicycles as an alternative and healthy means of transport.
During the initial celebration of the first Bicycle Day in the city, some 500 bicycle enthusiasts actively participated in the various events organized by the local government for the day-long event that saw an empowered community promoting bicycles as one of the environmentally-friendly means of transportation around the city.
Concerned government agencies and offices of the local government were able to prove that bad smoke emitted by motor vehicles have been the major pollutants in the city’s air that have resulted to the city’s air quality ranging from good to fair, especially around the central business district area, because of the convergence of motor vehicles coming from inside and outside the city.
Bicycle Day organizers expressed optimism of increasing public participation to the annual celebration of the event which will be spearheaded by the local government.
By Dexter A. See