SENATOR Ralph Recto on Friday stressed that government buildings and malls must provide free, safe parking for bikes, aside from dedicated lanes for them.
“It is not enough that we set aside passageways for bicycles. We should also see to it that the public places they’re going to have spots where they can leave their bikes safely,” he said.
“Maraming bikers ngayon na hindi gaanong nababahala habang pumapadyak sa kalsada, pero takot na manakaw ang bisikleta nila habang ito’y nakaparada,” Recto said.
Recto said government should lead by example by putting up bike racks in its offices and in public schools, colleges, hospitals and markets.
“Dito nga sa Senado, which is the ground zero for the call for more bike lanes, inaayos pa lang angparking spaces for bicycles, paano na kaya ang ibang mga opisina?” Recto said.
Bicycle parking spaces and lanes do not require detailed engineering studies, are easy to build, and cost little, he said. “If we are willing to borrow P11.5 billion for every kilometer of subway, then this is something we can afford.”
Recto said malls should now dedicate and expand parking areas for bicycles which must be secure, and above all, free of charge.
“Malaking kaswapangan na kung pati bisikleta sisingilin mo pa. Napakaliit na espasyo lang mao-okupa. Besides, cars can cross-subsidize the expenses in maintaining mall parking lots,” he said.
Recto said if the “bike-to-class” campaign will gain ground among students, “which will with government support,” then schools—when it is safe to reopen—will have to “create spaces where bikes can be deposited safely.”
Places of worship, he said, will be encouraged to follow, more so if church goers “have become converts to this green mode of transport.”
Recto said “a bike has as much right as a car when it comes to a parking space. Hindi dapat relegated sila sa isang puno, o sa poste, o kung saan na lang pwede sila itabi o ikadena.”
In a metropolis choking with automobiles and where parking space is scarce, a parking space for one sedan can accommodate 10 parked bicycles, Recto said, citing studies.
He said the surge in the sale and use of bicycles should be met with more infrastructures to accommodate them. “The government should be ahead of the curve. It cannot be overtaken by this phenomenon.”
“A bike is a social distancing-compliant ride. It will help fill the void in a mass transport with a shrunk capacity. Yung sa LRT 1 na 347 passengers per train car, magiging 52 na lang; sa MRT, from 394 per car down to 51; yung jeeps kalahati,” he said.