Environment organization dismayed by motorists’ lack of respect for bike lanes

3 family members succumb to Covid-19 in Agusan Sur Three members of a family, who were all unvaccinated against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), have succumbed to the disease in a matter of two days on Saturday and Sunday in Bayugan City, Agusan del Sur. Sarah Edison Postrero, 39, confirmed that her husband, her father-in-law- and her younger brother-in-law died due to Covid-19 infections. The three were first rushed to the Bayugan Community Hospital (BCH) on Friday after their health conditions worsened. They were having cough and fever and suffering from shortness of breath. They were transferred to the D.O. Plaza Memorial Hospital in Prosperidad town, the provincial capital, as the BCH had ran out of oxygen and the doctors there were already overwhelmed with patients. “We decided to transfer them since there’s no longer a physician to check on their health condition,” Postrero said. The father-in-law, 65, who had hypertension, was the first to pass away on Saturday morning. Her husband, 42, who was diagnosed with recurring diabetes, died at around 4 a.m. Sunday and his younger brother, 28, who was also suffering from diabetes, expired on Sunday evening. Postrero said that she and her husband, along with her father-in-law, had intended to get vaccinated last May, but did not push through after the attending physician found out that the couple was having shots of anti-tetanus vaccine due to a motorcycle accident while the elderly man had hypertension. Her husband started to deteriorate after the oxygen tank ran out of supply Saturday evening, with the replacement coming in at around 12 midnight. “His condition had already worsened even with the new oxygen, and did not survive at dawn,” she said. Postrero said that she and her three children aged 12, 13 and 18 have been isolated at a government quarantine facility in Bayugan, after three of them tested positive of COVID-19. The result of the swab test of the other child is yet to be released Postrero noted that she and her children are all asymptomatic. She said that another brother-in-law, who is younger than her late husband, was brought Monday to the Caraga Regional Hospital after he also showed symptoms such as hard coughing and recurring fever. He, too, is waiting for the swab test result. As this developed, at least six barangays in Bayugan City were placed under granular lockdown starting Sunday due to a spike in COVID-19 cases. City Mayor Kirk Asis issued on Saturday Executive Order (EO) No. 17 placing the whole of Barangay Maygatasan, four sub-communities in Poblacion, and one sub-community each in Barangays Taglatawan, Salvacion, Cagbas and Calaitan under granular lockdown. The granular lockdown shall remain in force until further notice, and may be extended. The EO ordered “a focused containment, community quarantine, and strict and mandatory quarantine in these areas.” “No person shall be allowed to go out of his or her house. All residents of these particular areas shall be subjected to quarantine protocols and testing procedures as directed by the City Inter-Agency Task Force (CIATF),” Asis said in the EO. All activities in these barangays shall be suspended starting Sunday, except for businesses that cater to essential services. Entry and exit points in these areas will be manned by the police and the members of CIATF. Most of the new cases in Bayugan City were concentrated in the six barangays subjected to the granular lockdown. (Chris V. Panganiban / MindaNews)

The environmental group Interface Development Intervention for Sustainability (IDIS) is dismayed by motorists’ lack of respect for the bicycle lanes demarcated for the use of cyclists and other light mobility vehicles such as e-bikes or kick scooters.

Lawyer Mark Peñalver, executive director of IDIS, told MindaNews that the cycling community here has noticed that several motorcyclists continue to take the bicycle lanes as “fast lanes,” particularly during peak hours, and as parking spaces of some cars to the prejudice of cyclists.

“IDIS, along with our partner biking community, has noticed that bike lanes are used by motorcyclists when overtaking or using the same as a fast lane. More so, we have also noted that there are still motorists who are using the bicycle lanes as parking spaces defeating the purpose for which they were developed,” he said.

He emphasized the need to strengthen the information and education campaign to educate the public, especially motorists, on the purpose of the bicycle lanes.

He told the motorists to share the road.

“It is time to inculcate into the minds of the road users that roads are shared with everyone,” he said.

He said the provision on the bicycle lane has been incorporated in the amended “Amended Bicycle and Light Mobility Vehicle Ordinance of Davao City,” which was passed by the Sangguniang Panlungsod last July 19.

Peñalver, an environmental lawyer, said paragraph 2 of Section 9 of this ordinance prohibits motorized vehicles are not allowed “to use, stop, or park on marked bicycle lanes” but is “silent as to the prosecution of this act.”

He said his group has yet to get the response of Mayor Sara Duterte whether she has already signed the ordinance.

Last September 6, Duterte told the Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) that she has been receiving complaints and reports from cyclists that the bike lanes are being used mostly by motorists.

“May I remind the motorists that when you say bicycle lanes, it does not mean ‘motorcycle,’ it means ‘bicycles’ which are pedal-driven. So, you are not supposed to, especially when you overtake, use the bicycle lanes,” she said.

Last July 20, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) inaugurated the 54.74-kilometer Metro Davao Bike Lane Network in this city to provide a “safer road” for cyclists amid the pandemic.

The P145 million project, funded by the Republic Act 11494, also known as the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act of 2020, was completed on June 30.

The bicycle lane network is a convergence project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and DOTr.

According to the data released by DPWH-Davao, the bicycle lane network was placed along Davao-Cotabato Road, ABS-CBN Quimpo Boulevard Diversion Road, Sandawa Road, Roxas Avenue, Quezon Avenue, Elpidio Qurinio Avenue, E. Jacinto Extension Street. Dr. A. Gahol St., Mabini Street, F. Torres Street, Loyola Street, Porras Street, Iñigo Street, and Nicasio Street. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

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