Groups push for more bike loops for the protection of frontliners

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 3) — Advocacy groups are recommending more bicycle loops across Metro Manila to help ensure the safety of healthcare workers who go to work on bicycles.

Dr. Tony Dans, a member of the Move As One Coalition, said that aside from the Ermita Loop they earlier recommended, there are also other bike loops in Quezon City that can be developed to make sure that healthcare workers commuting on bicycles will be safe on their way to work.

He said that the Quezon Circle loop can cover Victoriano Luna Hospital, Urology Center of the Philippines, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Philippine Heart Center, East Avenue Medical Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, and the Philippine Blood Center.

Another loop is at E. Rodriguez that can service those working in St. Luke’s Medical Center, National Children’s Hospital, De Los Santos Medical Center, Capitol Medical Center, and Dr. Jesus C. Delgado Memorial Hospital, Dans said.

Dans is also a doctor from the Philippine General Hospital and a University of the Philippines College of Medicine Professor.

Cycling advocacy group Life Cycles PH founder Keisha Mayuga said that to ensure safety of all riders whether healthcare worker or not, these should have basic elements such as dedicated and protected bike lanes along corridors and intersections, physical separators between lanes and carriageways, and specialized signage and signals.

Meanwhile, Dans also noted the urgency of Senate Bill No. 1518, or the Safe Pathways Act introduced by Senator Pia Cayetano to support advocacy especially now that the capital has shifted to general community quarantine, which means that more vehicles will hit the road as more businesses resume operations.

The bill "seeks to create a network of pop-up bicycle lanes and emergency pathways that are people-oriented and pedestrian-friendly, which shall connect users to essential destinations."

This was co-authored by Senator Francis Tolentino, Senator Manny Pacquiao, and Senator Sonny Angara. Senator Grace Poe also expressed her intent to co-author the bill.

The United Nations declared June 3 as World Bicycle Day to encourage its member states to put more attention to the development of bicycle riding in their countries for a healthier lifestyle.

More Filipinos have turned to bicycles as means of transportation since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.