July 21, 2024

The city’s bicycle and brisk walking lane project is moving, according to the City Engineering Office.

The CEO led by City Engineer Edgar Victorio Olpindo conducted a coordination and consultation meeting last May 25 with stakeholders represented by the focal persons of the bikers groups, the City Planning and Development Sustainability Office and the Baguio City District Engineering Office-Department of Public Works and Highways where they identified challenges encountered in the project implementation as well as possible solutions to ensure the smooth progress of the project.

The first phase of the project which was implemented early this year will cover six routes measuring 13.52 kilometers.

The routes are: Loakan-Apugan to Leonard Wood Road; BGH Rotunda to Panagbenga Park via Military Cut-Off; Justice Hall to Kalaw St. via Harrison Road.; Gov. Pack Road to BGH Rotunda; Harrison Road to M. Roxas via Magsaysay/Bonifacio and City Hall to Marcos Highway via Legarda Road.

CEO Planning, Programming and Construction Division Head Engf. Richard Lardizabal said that during the recent meeting, several concerns were taken up including the improved collaboration with the BCDEO in the implementation of the project and its planned continuation in the succeeding years.

The bikers community meanwhile put forward the following matters: safety measures like addressing the uncovered drainages and potholes along the roads, upgrading of materials for the planned bike racks and the locations where they will be placed, possible provision by the establishments of bike racks, inclusion of connectivity path or looping in the bike lanes, prioritization of the low carbon transport hierarchy, inclusion of the route going to schools to promote the “bike to school” concept, prioritization of bike lanes and sidewalks, among others.

The project which was started in 2022 was put on hold for refinement and alignment with the DPWH program and resumed early this year.

Regular coordination meetings were conducted to ensure smooth implementation with the end in view of “creating safe and accessible cycling infrastructure for the community.”

“The CEO strongly supports the proposal and recommends the implementation of a comprehensive plan that considers infrastructure, demand, budgetary considerations, collaboration and ongoing monitoring to ensure the successful development and maintenance of bike lanes,” the CEO said.

“Investing in bike lanes is a crucial step towards creating sustainable, livable and healthier cities.  By allocating a budget for bike lanes, we can actively promote active transportation, reduce traffic congestion and improve public health,” it added. – Aileen P. Refuerzo