The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Wednesday reiterated its warning to bicycle groups, which have put up their own bicycle lanes along Edsa and other major thoroughfares in Metro Manila.
In a message to reporters, MMDA Spokesperson Celine Pialago said she has spoken with the latest cyclists who had put up a bike lane along Edsa, hoping that an understanding for a proper dialogue was reached.
“Nag-usap na kanina. I hope nagkaintindihan kami na they will submit their request through my email. Pag-uusapan po ito (We spoke earlier. I hope we reached an understanding where they will submit their request through my email. We will talk about this),” Pialago said.
She clarified that the MMDA does not prohibit or discourage cyclists from using major thoroughfares given the general community quarantine (GCQ), which imposes stringent limitations in public transportation.
However, Pialago noted that cyclists are temporarily limited to using sidewalks until proper precautions are arranged for government-sanctioned bike lanes.
“Kami po ay nagpo-provide ng signages, bollards. Naglalatag din po kami ng mga enforcers para po umalalay sa inyo. May mga dinedeploy din po tayong ambulansya dahil yung mga ganung uri ng activities ay hindi po ligtas para sa inyo (We provide signage and bollards. We also send out enforcers to assist bikers. We likewise deploy ambulances since these activities can be dangerous),” she said.
Pialago said the MMDA would push through with the issuance of tickets for obstruction, with a corresponding fine of PHP1,000, to those who will continue to install unapproved bike lanes.
“Pero sa panahon ngayon, hindi naman oras ng hulihan at kasuhan. Muli magsilbing paalala sa lahat na may kaukulang penalty po iyan. Huwag na pong ulitin (This is not the time for arrests and cases but we would like to remind the public that these actions have corresponding penalties. Let’s just not do it again),” she said.
Earlier, a group of cycling organizations posted a statement on social media calling on all local government units (LGU) to create or pass an ordinance that establishes clear technical guidelines on how bike lanes would be established in their localities.
The statement adds to the order of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to LGUs to establish protected bike lanes, as well as to a Joint Administrative Order from the Department of Health – pending approval of the IATF-EID – that requires safe bike lanes in urban areas.
The statement was signed by AltMobility PH, Alyansa ng May Kapansanang Pinoy, Affiliated Network for Social Accountability in East Asia and the Pacific, Bayanihan sa Daan, Bicycle Friendly Philippines, Bisikleta Pilipinas Coalition, Inclusive Mobility Network, Kalyetista, Komyut, Life Cycles PH, MNL Moves, Move Metro Manila, The Firefly Brigade, and Tiklop Society of the Philippines. (PNA)
Photo Source: MMDA Spokesperson Celine Pialago