By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY — The government of the Netherlands wants to harness the capacity of this city in integrating bikes to urban planning while promoting an environmentally-friendly transportation.
“There’s a lot of awareness and interests in biking here, but we want to see where adaptation for infrastructure can be made so biking is safe for the people,” said Ambassador Saskia de Lang.
Speaking to Manila Bulletin, de Lang said Iloilo City can have the same potential in her home country where biking is part of the daily life of the Dutch people.
“We can change attitudes and make drivers respect road sharing,” de Lang emphasized.
The Dutch Cycling Embassy recently held the Think Bike workshop which was the first of its kind in the country and in Southeast Asia.
Dutch officials and private consultants held dialogues with members of the Iloilo Bike Council, Iloilo Road Safety Movement, iFold, Cycling Hearts, Global Shapers Iloilo Hub, tourism officials, and planning officials on the challenges of Iloilo’s bike culture and how to improve it.
The Dutch government also welcomed plans of Mayor Jerry Treñas to integrate biking into Iloilo City’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP).
According to de Lang, the increasing use of bikes can drastically reduce carbon footprint and help the environment.
Iloilo City has steadily embraced biking with bike lanes constructed as part of the road expansion project, which was partly funded by Ilonggo Senator Franklin Drilon.