Mayor Lucilo Bayron has vetoed the City Council-approved bike ordinance that is supposed to institutionalize the use and promotion of bicycles in the long-range transportation plan of Puerto Princesa.
Bayron held back from signing City Ordinance No. 1069, which aims to provide for bicycle travel within communities.
In a letter to the City Council sent on August 10, Bayron said the proposed ordinance will be difficult to implement, and asked the body to “revisit” its provisions.
The proposed ordinance, authored by councilor Nesario Awat, sought to establish a “Puerto Princesa-based bike club or organization” and a designated 1.5-meter bicycle lane on all the major and city roads.
Awat, in an earlier statement, pointed out that Puerto Princesa is a “tourist destination city”, stating that the move is “good for the health, environment-friendly, and economical”.
The proposed local law has vested the City Engineering Office (CEO) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to identify and mark 1.5 meters from the outer lane going to the inner lane as a “priority lane” for cyclists. The bike lane was the centerpiece of discussions during the committee hearings and public discussions with the bike enthusiasts.
The bike ordinance also seeks to establish several programs emphasizing the safety and welfare of bikers in the city, including a “safe distance” rule that requires motor vehicle drivers with no less than five-meter distance on the rear and one-meter distance on the side while traversing the roads with cyclists.
The Council has kept on file the note from the local chief executive and is yet to discuss the matter.