By Jhon Aldrin Casinas
With mass transport now paralyzed due to the enhanced community quarantine, biking has been declared as an essential mode of transportation in Pasig City.
The Pasig City Transport Department announced on April 7, Tuesday, that biking has been declared as an essential form of transportation and not just an alternative one by the virtue of Executive Order No. 18 Series of 2020.
The order was signed on March 25, the city transport department said, and it was supported by Resolution No. 59 Series of 2020 that was passed by the City Council on March 30.
“Taking the lead in formally declaring biking as essential, not a mere alternative form of transportation, the City Government of Pasig has issued an Executive Order and a Resolution,” said Pasig Transport in a Twitter post Tuesday.
Under the measure, bicycle shops in Pasig are allowed by the city government to open during the quarantine.
“Businesses in the city [that] are primarily engaged in the repair and maintenance of bicycles, including vulcanizing, as well as the sale of essential bicycle parts and accessories, shall be classified as essential business and shall be allowed to operate,” the city transport department said.
City departments were also ordered to determine key locations of bicycle repair and upgrade shops.
Likewise, city departments have been directed to evaluate areas with major pedestrian activity “to ensure that walking is a viable means of transportation in the city.”
Following the suspension of mass transport amid the coronavirus break, the public has used bicycles as a mode of transport.
Streets that were once filled with cars are now left nearly empty, allowing two-wheeled vehicles such as bikes to ply the roads.
The Pasig Transport has also issued tips for bikers and motorists alike to ensure their safety while traveling.
The city transport department stressed that biking is allowed on all roads in Pasig.
Bikers should also follow traffic rules, use lights and reflectors to make them visible to other motorists, use hand signals, and give priority to pedestrians.
“Stop at pedestrian crossings and avoid riding on sidewalks,” it added.
As for motorists, Pasig Transport reminded them to be responsible drivers and also follow traffic rules to avoid accidents that cause injuries or death.
“With great horsepower, comes great responsibility,” the city transport department said.
Motorists were also advised to allow pedestrians to cross the street first and yield to bikers. They should also maintain a safe distance from bikers and users of personal mobility devices (PMDs) such as electric kick scooters.
Aside from these reminders, Pasig Transport has also told motorists to avoid beeping their horns for it might startle bikers and cause accidents. They should also check first for incoming bikers before opening their vehicles’ doors.