GOOD NEWS: Cebu City now working on Sugbo Bike Lanes Board

With the difficulty faced with regards to transportation these days, the Cebu City government is now drafting an executive order with regards to the creation of the Sugbo Bike Lanes Board.

The SBLB is headed by the mayor or his duly designated representative as chairperson. Other members include: chairperson of the SP Committee on Parks and Playground, Wildlife, Ecology, and Environmental Management or his/her designated representative as the vice-chairperson, chairperson of the Council Committee on Laws, Ordinances, Public Accountability and Good Government or his/her designated representative, CCTO head or his/her designated representative, DEPW head or his/her designated representative, among others, as members.

City Ordinance No. 2408 tasks the SBLB for the administration and implementation of the bike lanes plan of Cebu City. The group would be composed of enthusiasts and public officials – who will study the areas and streets where these bike lanes can be established, as well as look into on how these lanes will further impact traffic in the future.

However, the Sugbo Bike Lanes Board is actually not new. In fact, it was first created in 2014, five months after the approval of the bike lane ordinance. This existing ordinance was established to provide shared priority bike lanes in designated roads in the city, establishing appropriate traffic rules and regulations, and providing funds and penalties for violations thereof. Sadly, it was not totally implemented because bikes were not as extensively used at that time. Attorney Mary Rose Salvatierra, Mayor Edgardo Labella’s chief of staff, shared that given the undertakings of this pandemic, it is best for the board to finally convene so as to start identifying where these bike lanes can be placed and to make necessary adjustments pursuant to the changing conditions of the times.

What’s with the Sugbo Bike Lanes Ordinance?

The Cebu City Ordinance No. 2408, also known as “The Sugbo Bike Lanes Ordinance” was created so bikes/bicycles may have designated shared priority bike lanes or bike friendly zones in the city. The Cebu City Transportation Office will implement the shared priority bike lanes or bike friendly zones – Sugbo Bike Lanes – in designated areas.

The Department of Engineering and Public Works will work together with the Department of Public Works and Highways and CCTO for the establishment of the appropriate areas for shared priority bike lanes/bike friendly zones and the necessary road or traffic signs.

Suspension of Mandatory Registration of Bicycles

The created ordinance also urges bikers to register their bicycles and get license after paying the corresponding fees to the City Treasurer’s Office. This is purposely done for easy monitoring and for safety on the streets. However, because of the protests done by netizens opposing this mandate – just three hours after the official statement of the CCTO – Mayor Edgardo Labella released his own statement to suspend indefinitely the mandatory registration of bicycles and prohibition of their use in Cebu City streets.