BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance allowing the installation of mandatory pedestrian, brisk, walking and bicycle lanes in all feasible roads in the city.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Lilia A. Fariñas stated that all roads within the jurisdiction of the city be installed with pedestrian, brisk walking or bicycle lane, by painting or with any other more efficient and practical means to inform and signify such lane to signal motorists and drivers to slow down and take extra caution for pedestrians, brisk walkers, joggers and cyclists.
Further, the ordinance ordered roads within the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) be requested to allow the installation of pedestrian, brisk walking or bicycle lanes within the boundaries of the city, however, are exclusive of its jurisdiction, such as national or regional highways.
Under the proposed ordinance, the pedestrian and bicycle lane shall run parallel along the right side of the road or street identified by a 4-inch white and yellow, diagonally stripe line, painted with standard road paint.
The ordinance added that the pedestrian and bicycle lane shall be measured from the right-most side of the road 1 meter more or less pursuant to minimum ergonomic and anthropometric standards as may be advised by the City Engineering Office and the DPWH, as well as it shall be in ratio and proportion to the whole width of the street or the road, which means narrower streets will have narrow lanes.
The ordinance pointed out that motorists or drivers reported by victims and having been found in violation or the non-observance of the local legislative measure, such as not slowing down when passing over the mandatory pedestrian or bicycle lane, not giving to walkers, joggers or cyclists using the lane; or causing injury or damage to property to said walkers, joggers or cyclists crossing the lane shall be fined in the amount of P3,000 for the first offense; P4,000 for the second offense and P5,000 or imprisonment of 1 month or both upon the discretion of the court for the third and succeeding offenses.
According to the proposal, the penal provisions of the ordinance shall not preclude the filing of separate cases that resulted to injury, damage to property or death to victims.
The ordinance stipulated, to foster economic and environmental sustainability, one of the best practices of the great urbanized economies such as Copenhagen, Norway and Amsterdam and the Netherlands is to prioritize and promote pedestrianism, and significantly, infuse bicycle lanes in their urban planning.
The proposed measure emphasized that this best practice purposely attempts to eradicate, and at least, mitigate air pollution from motorized vehicles that significantly contribute to global warming.
By Dexter A. See