THE renewed call of the Department of Health (DOH) for the setting up of more “protected” bike lanes throughout the country should be welcomed by all sectors of Philippine society.
For one, the installation of “protected” bike lanes is now a must considering the rising number of bicycle-riding Filipinos due to the lack of public utility vehicles (PUVs) in the country.
Note that the government, through concerned offices and agencies, has limited the operations of public transport as part of efforts to halt the further spread of the deadly COVID-19.
For another, we see a government that is determined to ensure the safety of the travelling public, including cyclists, pedestrians and also motorists.
Today, cycling is acknowledged as one of the most preferred ways to travel during the pandemic as it ensures physical distancing, which is a crucial factor in addressing the crisis.
The DOH issued the call after an unidentified black pick-up hit and killed RenzJayson Perez, a bike-riding nurse, at the corner of Padre Burgos and Maria OrosaStreets in Manila last August 23.
A COVID-19 frontliner, the hit-and-run victim was rushed to nearby Philippine General Hospital (PGH) on busy Taft Avenue, also in Manila, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
In a press statement, the health department maintained that the country’s cyclists and pedestrians have much right to use our roads, highways and streets as motorists do.
Likewise, the DOH called on the commuting public, particularly motorists, to be respectful and share the thoroughfares with cyclists, pedestrians, and other road users.
It will be good for everybody, especially during the pandemic.