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Bad P.R. for road sharing

October 2014
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A few articles came out of Sun Star Cebu recently regarding an activity over the weekend that was supposed to promote road sharing. I read four articles by different opinion writers. These may be found in the following links:

The first three articles seem to be more like reactions of motorists to activities that seek to promote road sharing and cycling in particular. The writers missed the point in so far as road sharing is concerned and are definitely biased towards the status quo in terms of road usage. However, some of their observations need to be qualified as certain roads seem to have been closed with little advise to the general public, many of whom take public transport. The last article is the more grounded one and explains the perspective of non-bikers who are public transport users. This is the calmer opinion among the four and expresses his points in a more objective manner.

I was not there and I haven’t read yet any articles from the organizers or participants to the activity. I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt in so far as their advocacy is concerned. But then one also has to consider the valid points raised by other road users whenever road sharing is equated to cycling rather than a more balanced mix that is focused towards maximising the number of people or amount of goods transported. It is not only a question of space but of efficiency of movement. Bicycles might be efficient in energy but unfortunately it is not the most efficient in terms of the number of people carried between origins and destinations. And we can never decongest our streets in order to make more space for cyclists and pedestrians if we cannot come up with efficient public transport systems that will encourage people to leave their cars or not to buy one in the first place. It can be argued that people are actually opting for motorcycles than bicycles for commuting – another trend that needs to be understood from the perspective of people making these choices for their transport needs.


3 Comments

  1. Chyrel Gomez says:

    I didn’t join the green loop exercise but I passed through the area while riding my way home from the usual xc ride. No wonder drivers were more hostile and agitated as we cruised along B.Rod all the way to Capitol. The whole thing looked like a circus to me and instead of road sharing, it kind of looked selfish. The other half of the road was closed and people who participated were all smiles then the other side were inconvenienced and people were stuck in traffic on a Sunday. I’m all up for bike lanes and bike racks but this kind of activity should be done elsewhere where it doesn’t disrupt economic activity. Also, we can’t force everyone to bike commuters. Encourage maybe, yes, possible. Plus, there’s a lot of bike commuters from construction workers to doctors and even myself. I guess it all boils down to respecting the commuters, motorists, and the cyclists. And the road is for everyone.

    • d0ctrine says:

      Thanks for sharing the experience. I was asking my Cebuano friends about it, and it seems like a different activity than the ones held, for example, in Quezon City, Pasig, Marikina or Antipolo where its basically a cycling activity. People are on their bikes and the entire group travels to promote road sharing. They don’t block or close off entire stretches of road though other vehicles would definitely slow down.

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