The streets of Metro Manila have undergone some big changes in the last month alone. Local government units of various cities and districts have started establishing dedicated bicycle lanes to open up more options for commuters around the capital.
But while this may seem all well and good, some posts have circulated social media just recently showing how these bike lanes in several areas in the metro are being misused by motorists as overtaking lanes, or worse, as parking spaces. Not only is this a reflection of sheer ignorance by some motorists, but such behavior also endangers the lives of cyclists in the city, especially along busy streets.
According to a report by the Philippine Star, Joint Task Force COVID Shield commander Police Lt. General Guillermo Eleazar raised the issue in a recent statement and reminded the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group as well as local security personnel to include the checking of bicycle lanes in their regular patrols.
“The use of bicycles as a mode of transportation is already beginning to become popular. We call on the motorists to get used to this by starting to respect the intended users of bicycle lanes,” Eleazar said. “The keyword here is respect. Just like drivers of trucks, buses, and private vehicles, bicycle riders also have the right to use the roads especially if they are already allowed to go through bicycle lanes that have already been designated by the local government units.”
Eleazar didn’t specify the corresponding penalties that will be imposed, but this should already serve as a fair warning to all violators out there, especially now that more and more bicycle lanes are starting to open up around Metro Manila. Besides, with limited public transportation available, this is the last thing our fellow commuters need at the moment.
“The national government, through the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases supports the use of bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation. This is the reason why we welcome the decision of the LGUs to designate bicycles lanes in their areas of responsibility,” Eleazar added.
What’s your take on the whole issue? Do you think authorities should crack down further on these unlawful motorists?