Briones: Random rant

·2 min read

I vowed to lie low from the coronavirus issue. Call it pandemic fatigue. However, it’s easier said than done, considering that everywhere I look, everything I do, there’s no avoiding it.

I initially wanted to talk about the bicycle lanes that have cropped up around the metro.

Here in Cebu City, vehicles that park on the outer edges of the Fuente Rotunda respect the space that is allotted for bicycles. And I think we have “parking aides” to thank for that.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the bicycle lane on Osmeña Blvd., particularly the one in front of the Department of Health 7 compound.

The entire stretch–from under the skywalk in front of the Vicente Sotto exit gate to the corner right next to the Osmeña house–is instead occupied by parked vehicles.

I notice these things because I walk. A lot. And this was the scenario on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, when I passed by the area. On foot.

I have a feeling that many portions of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ P150-million Bike Lane project, which will traverse the cities of Talisay, Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, will suffer the same fate and end up becoming parking areas. Unless, the violators are warned or penalized.

I know authorities have their hands full, what with the health crisis and all, but if they can devote time on politicking maybe they can look into this problem. It’s the least they can do.

I don’t want this project to end up being another white elephant. Heaven forbid! It’s not like the government has money to throw around.

But it’s not just parking on the bicycle lane. One of the perennial problems of Metro Cebu is parking on sidewalks, which, by the way, is illegal.

Two years since the Duterte administration launched clearing operations to rid sidewalks and streets of obstructions and obstructions are back.

I’m not talking about vendors. Most of them have not returned since the government imposed the hard lockdown at the start of the pandemic at the end of March last year. Although, to be honest, I have a soft spot for them because I know they’re just trying to make an honest living.

My beef is with vehicles that park on sidewalks. The situation can get so bad that pedestrians are forced off to the main road and they risk getting sideswiped. Like the situation in front of a bank across a hospital on Osmeña Blvd.

Anyway, it seems Covid cases are on the rise again. Not that I’m surprised.

On J. Urgello St. in Sambag 1, children play outdoors well into the night past the curfew almost every night. Without masks and without observing social distancing. And I don’t see barangay officials doing anything about it.

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