LGU Naga pushes for bike lanes

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard)—Bicycle lanes that are about 1.5 meters in width will be constructed in all national roads and city primary and secondary roads in Naga in connection with the start of the implementation of the "Naga Bicycle Ordinance."

This was announced by Mayor Nelson Legacion this week, in a meeting with various bicycle organizations.

Said ordinance, which was enacted on May 16, 2017, was co-authored by Legacion with Councilor Lito del Rosario, when the former was still Vice Mayor.

“Bicycles are environment-friendly and cost-efficient modes of transportation. It should be promoted not only for sports and recreation but also as a primary alternative for cars and motorcycles,” the ordinance reads.

Further, the ordinance intends to decongest traffic, Legacion said.

The mayor announced that they also activated the Bicycle Board this week, for the primary purpose of ensuring the effective and efficient implementation of the ordinance.

The Board is composed of the City Mayor, City Vice Mayor, Chairman of the Committee on Transportation, City Engineer, Public Safety Officer, City Planning and Development Officer, President of the Transport Bicycle Organization, President of the Sports/Tourism Bicycle Organization, President of the Health and Wellness Bicycle Organization.

Also invited to sit as additional members of the Board are the Chief of the Naga City Police Office, a representative of the Land Transportation Office, a Representative of the 2nd Engineering District of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

The ordinance specifies the prohibited acts on bicycle lanes, such as parking, creating obstruction, use in rallies, peaceful concerted activities, or similar events, among others.

Also contained in the ordinance is the presumption that whenever an accident occurs in the bike lane, involving a cyclist, any person other than the cyclist is deemed at fault.

Under the Ordinance, any person who violates the prohibited acts specified shall plant at least ten trees, donate blood in accordance with the City’s Blood Donation Program, or do other form of community service, whichever is practicable at the option of the offender.

Proof of compliance on the first shall be a Certification from the Punong Barangay where the offender resides or in the barangay within the City where he planted and a photograph of the offender in the act of planting.

For blood donation, the certification of the sponsoring barangay, office, or agency shall be considered sufficient compliance.

For community service, a certification of the concerned Punong Barangay, the head of either the City Social Welfare and Development Office or Solid Waste Management Office shall also be considered sufficient compliance.

The following penalties will also be imposed: a fine of P1,000 for the first offense; P3,000 for the second offense; and P5,000 and/or imprisonment of no longer than six months, subject to the discretion of the court, for the third offense.

The implementation of the provisions on the penalties and prohibited acts will be made only after the desired Cycling Infrastructures are realized, as certified by the Bicycle Board.