Inter-agency group renews call for protected bike lanes

Inter-agency group renews call for protected bike lanes

TACLOBAN CITY – The interagency technical working group (TWG) on active transport has reiterated its call on Thursday to build protected bicycle lane networks to ensure the safety of cyclists.

The group said that local governments should take the lead in the immediate construction of protected bicycle lane networks following design standards set by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and ensure that traffic rules and regulations are enforced correctly to secure the safety of all road users, especially those using light and active transport options.

The TWG on active transport is composed of the DPWH, Department of Transportation, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and Department of Health.

“Cycling is one of the most efficient ways to move people across our cities and municipalities — given current limitations on public transport, cycling and other forms of active transport can help users observe physical distancing and maintain open ventilation while traveling,” the TWG said.

The body said they are committed to working with civil society and local government units to roll out protected bicycle lanes for the benefit of all Filipino road users.

This is done by the availability of plans, policies, and guidelines on the development of such infrastructure; encouraging its utilization and implementation.

“We reiterate and echo the call to protect cyclists, pedestrians, and other active transport users — the most vulnerable road users — from fatal road incidents,” the group added.

The inter-agency body asked private logistics and transport service providers to “ensure the safety of other road users by fitting their trucks and other large vehicles with safety equipment, including side guards to prevent cyclists and pedestrians from being swept under middle or rear wheels in the event of a collision.”

“Finally, we remind all road users, most especially motorists, to be respectful and to share the road with others, particularly cyclists and pedestrians who are most vulnerable to road crash incidents. They have just as much right to use the road as motorists do. We must all do our part to create roads and communities that are safe and accessible to all,” the group added.

The TWG issued the statement after a 17-year-old girl from Jaro, Leyte was run over and killed by a truck while cycling along a major highway in the city last March 16. The young cyclist reportedly lost her balance and fell on the road after passing a hump. (PNA)

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