The City Council approved on Monday a bike ordinance that mandates, among others, the establishment of a 1.5 meter bicycle lane on major and city roads.

The ordinance (SDO No. 64-2020) also included several other provisions which it authors say should make Puerto Princesa City a “bike travel friendly city.”

Councilor Nesario Awat, chairman of City Council Committee on Legal Matters and author of the ordinance, described the measure as “good for the health, environment-friendly, and economical”.

The measure seeks to establish a “Puerto Princesa-based bike club or organization”.

During the committee hearings and public discussions, several bike enthusiasts expressed concern over the designated bike lane citing reckless vehicular drivers that may encroach and endanger the bikers. Awat however said that the bike lanes would “not be exclusive” pointing out that most roads in the city are limited to only two-lanes.

The ordinance requires 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.

To further strengthen the bikers’ safety, a “safe distance” rule 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 measure also seek to establish bike stations and bike tours around Puerto Princesa City.

It also introduces a “bike to work” program in order to promote biking among city government employees. A “bicycle loan window” may be availed by the government workers who are keen on procuring bicycles as a means of transport to work. Said loan would bear zero interest and may be automatically deducted on the employee’s monthly salary.

A similar program for students, dubbed “bike to school”, will also be established in “strategic partnership” with the Department of Education (DepEd) and City Sports Office (CSO).