July 19, 2024

The city council has tasked the City Engineering Office to seek the guidance and approval of the Department of Public Work and Highways in identifying roads within the city where shared lanes can be dedicated to ensure cyclists are safe as they traverse the roads.

Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan said this is to ensure the installation of bicycle facilities to be undertaken by the city government is in accordance with the guidelines issued by the DPWH.

Previously, the approval of the proposed bike lane ordinance was put on hold because the CEO declared the installation of bicycle facilities as prescribed by the ordinance must conform to the updated DPWH guidelines.

According to DPWH Department Order 263, s. 2022, bicycle facilities are classified as follows: class 1 or shared bike path – the path being shared by pedestrians and bikers is separated from the carriageway by erecting a fence or other forms of protection; class 2 or separated bike lane – the lane is separated from the carriageway by using pavement markings; and class 3 or shared roadway – the entire carriageway is shared between motorists and cyclists.

Traffic and Transportation Management Division Head Januario Borillo said based on the volume of vehicles and the width of the carriageways, most roads in the city can be used as shared roadways (class 3) by motorists and cyclists.

He added only Buhagan Road and Magsaysay Road can be installed with separated bike paths (class 1).

Borillo recommended instead of road markings which will cost around P5 million, the city government will install signs to indicate that the carriageways are shared roadways to spend only about P80,000 per kilometer.

He also suggested from 3.20 to 3.70 meters, the carriageways’ width will be reduced to 3.05 meters to provide more space for cyclists.

Olowan urged Borillo to submit his recommendations to the DPWH for the latter’s approval.

Recently, the city council approved on first reading an ordinance seeking to institutionalize Sang-atan or the Baguio Bicycle Month Festival. Once institutionalized, the bike festival will be held for the entire month of June of every year. – Jordan G. Habbiling