EARTH HOUR: IT’S TIME TO SHARE THE ROAD

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A biker-tourist, after touring(on mountain bike) the Islands of Bohol,Siquijor, Negros Oriental and Cebu, handed me his bike as my tip.

 

WE PROPOSE to put up bicycle lanes in Cebu City roads for the safety of bikers, cyclists, skateboarders and pedestrians.

WE BELIEVE that the bikers, skateboarders, pedestrians and cyclists also deserve respect and equal rights to share the road with other vehicle drivers.

WE STRONGLY BELIEVE that space on the road should be allocated by number of passengers, not just size of vehicles: one person riding a bike should be given the same amount of space as one person riding an SUV.

WE STAND FOR the notion that through bicycles, we can reduce the carbon emissions of vehicles thus, reducing our contribution to climate change.

WE STRONGLY URGE the law makers to start identifying bike lane areas and encourage business establishments to put up bike racks.

WE REPRESENT a multi-sectoral citizenry composed of different environment advocacy organizations and private individuals who want to make a significant change, not just on the mindset of the people but also to the environment. We would like to set an example that together we can make a sustainable, livable and habitable Cebu City.

Why bike?

We bike because we care – for our well-being, for other people’s health and safety, for personal and national economic independence, for the preservation of our human-scale city, and for the ecological wellness of planet Earth. As a human-powered vehicle, the bicycle is an exercise equipment, a noiseless moneysaving machine that is highly maneuverable, runs on non-lethal speed and does not require much space to move in. If you bike to and from work everyday, then you will be exercising while commuting, trimming your waistline to a healthy measure and cutting your daily transportation expenses. You will be saving time, money and yourself from diseases associated with a sedentary and passive lifestyle. If most Cebuanos would bike to and from work, then there will be no need for road widening, for demolitions of commercial and residential buildings, for relocations of entire communities, and for capital outlays from the local government to finance traffic infrastructure projects. City Hall will save its revenue for other important expenditures – such as support programs for former-tricycle-turned-pedicab-drivers. The city’s familiarity, human-scale and heritage landmarks will be conserved. If most Filipinos would bike to and from work, then the nation’s dependency on imported oil, car and motorcycle spare parts will be reduced. The nation’s balance of trade will become favorable, and the government’s addiction to foreign loans can be curbed. We can then pay our foreign debts because of the accumulated dollar reserves, and eventually attain economic sovereignty. Because those who can afford cars refrain from owning one, their savings will help generate capital for investments that can pumpprime the economy. The long awaited economic take-off can then begin. If most people on the planet would bike to and from work, then the global emission of greenhouse gases will drop significantly. Global warming will be prevented from reaching a critical peak of irreversibility, and the catastrophic scenario of melting icecaps, rising ocean levels, and unprecedented weather disasters will be forestalled. We will then be saving the world we know for ourselves and for the next generations.

Excerpts from the Concept Paper of the group Bisekleta para sa Ikaayong lawas, Kinaiyahan, Ekonomiya, ug Repormang Sosyal (BIKERS) of Surigao City. Written on September 16, 2007by Judel Paredes, the group’s founder.

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