Baguio becomes bike city during lockdown
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – After World War II, the Baguio City council ordered bicycles (and motorcycles) out of Session Road. After 7 decades, the order still stands. As late as two months ago, the city council denied the move by a bicycle advocacy group to open Session Road to them and provide bike lanes in major city routes.
It took COVID-19 to change the minds of the council toward bicycles. The Baguio City council this week approved a resolution encouraging the city’s residents to use bicycles as a mode of transportation during the period of the extended enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and its eventual downgrading to general community quarantine (GCQ), until such time that the mass public transport system fully returns to normal.
The resolution authored by Councilor Maria Mylen Victoria Yaranon states that the ECQ period is a time for innovative and out-of-the-box solutions to address a number of problems that the city is facing.
The resolution points out that the use of bicycles as an alternate mode of transportation will provide convenient travel in the city during the ECQ and GCQ until the restrictions on the city’s public transportation system has been relaxed and lifted.
The city included bike shops among the essential business establishments allowed to be open during the ECQ.
The Daily Cycle Movement (DCM), a bicycle advocacy group in Baguio, hopes that the city would become more bike-friendly even after the ECQ.
The DCM has been lending bicycles to at least 16 medical frontliners for their daily transportation since the ECQ started.
According to the council resolution, the transportation challenges faced by the public will continue up to the lifting of the ECQ as the suspension of the city’s public transportation is part of the precautionary measures meant to prevent the spread of the deadly COVID-19. – Rappler.com