CEBU City Mayor Edgardo Labella wants to connect his city’s bike lanes with those of other cities in Metro Cebu as a way to promote road safety for cyclists.
Labella said he ultimately wants to connect Cebu City’s bike lanes with those being made by the cities of Mandaue, Talisay and Lapu-Lapu to ensure that cyclists using them remain safe while traveling along major thoroughfares with other vehicles.
Labella made the statement during a meeting with the Sugbo Bike Lanes Board and the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) on Saturday, March 13, 2021.
Labella said he saw the importance of establishing bike lanes in the city after seeing cyclists competing with bigger vehicles in the city’s major thoroughfares on a daily basis.
“I want our roads to have bike-friendly areas so that those onboard bicycles are safe to travel without the need to disrupt other vehicles,” Labella said in Cebuano.
The Cebu City government, in coordination with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), has started constructing a three-kilometer, 10-meter-wide exclusive bike lane along the South Road Properties to Talisay City.
Mandaue City now has an existing bike lane network which was initiated last year while the city was still under strict quarantine status.
Talisay City has established its own bike lanes as well.
Labella admitted he has found a fascination for bicycles, especially now that they are getting popular during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I am fascinated by how eco-friendly this mode of transportation is and how a lot of Cebuanos have chosen to bike to their destinations,” Labella said.
“We have a long-term vision for our bike lanes as they will eventually connect to our neighbouring cities. We will work hard that these bike lanes will be sustained through a joint effort down to the barangay level,” he added.
Lawyer and former Cebu City councilor Gerardo “Gerry” Carillo, who is the Board’s chairman, said the pandemic has shown how important bicycling has become for everyone.
He hopes that through the City’s initiative, they can convince other national government agencies to fund the establishment of more bike lanes.
“Especially now in the time of pandemic, biking can help reduce transmission of the virus. We also want to make Cebu City more liveable for our people as we maintain the balance of ecology in our community,” Carillo said.