An improvised bike lane along Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City was removed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) this morning, Jun. 2. The lane, which used orange-colored plastic bottles, was made by cycling advocacy group Bikers United Marshalls.
MMDA Spokesperson and Assistant Secretary Celine Pialago said that plastic containers were dangerous and did not ensure the safety of the bikers.
MMDA Spox Asec. Celine Pialago says all the members of a group who placed improvised plastic containers as barricade for a "bike lane" along Commonwealth Ave. will each get P1K citation ticket for obstruction. "Delikado iyan para sa bikers." | via @iamjelsantos
— Manila Bulletin News (@manilabulletin) June 2, 2020
The members of Bikers United Marshalls will be given obstruction citation tickets and will have to pay a fine of P1,000 each. According to Pialago, the group is putting the lives of people in danger.
On Facebook, Bikers United Marshalls posted a statement on Facebook condemning the decision of the MMDA to fine their members. They claim that the plastic bottles are not barricades, but are markers for their volunteer traffic marshalls to “augment the already overwhelmed traffic enforcement personnel.” The markers are only in place during the 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. rush hour. Afterward, they are packed up by the group.
Pialago also claimed that the bottles used only weighed one liter. The group clarified that they were actually six liters.
“Contrary to the allegation that our actions pose a danger to people, our actions as volunteer marshalls actually protect people,” the group stated in their post. “The fact that volunteer marshalls are signaling bikers to remain in the rightmost lane and motorists to share the road creates a much safer road.”
The group also cited Quezon City Ordinance No. SP-2636, S-2017 which declares that “road design and setting of speed limits must take into consideration the need to protect vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, bicycle riders, and motorcycle riders.”
Header photo courtesy of Albert Lozada from Bikers United Marshalls
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Writer: THEA TORRES