Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero (1-Pacman Partylist) called on national and local executives to upgrade road infrastructure and install safety measures if they are to promote the “Cycling to Work” campaign come the new normal.
Given the financial implications of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the practice of physical distancing, the former Philippine Cycling Federation president urged daily commuters to use bicycles to go to work or school as it is faster, cheaper, and reinvigorating.
“The surest and practical way to reach your destination now is to renew our love affair with our bikes,” said Romero, as he backed the call of the country’s cycling heavyweights to make bicycles a vital mode of transportation.
Last week, Le Tour’s Bert Lina of Lina Group of Companies and Ronda Pilipinas’ Moe Chulani of LBC stressed the need to use bicycles as a mode of transportation after the deadly COVID-19 disease put almost everything on hold.
Though there are already existing lanes in some areas, Romero said bike users should be protected from speeding cars, buses, and trucks by putting up protective barriers.
“It’s scary to see a speeding car or a 10-wheeler truck runs over a biker. That could be tragic,” said the national polo player who is the majority owner of AirAsia Philippines.
“If we have to embrace bicycle as an important mode of transportation then we need to upgrade our road infrastructure,” added Romero, who noted that bikes are now selling like hot potatoes.
“At least there will be barriers.”
In London, Romero said the number of women — mostly health workers — using bikes in going to work has increased dramatically, which means bike rental business also thrives.
“Since bicycling is a good exercise and very affordable, we need good protective road facilities not just ordinary line of paint so that everybody even the students would be safe,” said Romero.
Romero, however, warned would-be bike users to undergo medical check-up first before buying bikes to avoid the tragic accident that befell a biker along EDSA on Friday.
“If you are not fit enough, use other means of transpo,” said Romero.
“Walking infrastructure should be likewise be upgraded.”