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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Cycling: Mobility in the new normal

For the past two years, the coronavirus pandemic has plagued the world and disrupted our accustomed way of living, thus giving life to the term “new normal”.

With the virus, adapting to a different lifestyle and going through changes are the biggest challenges people have faced.

The transportation sector has been greatly affected by the pandemic. Back in 2020, the government halted the use of mass transportation to curb the spread of the virus, a move that forced workers and frontliners to seek alternative ways of traveling through cycling.

Just like the contagious COVID-19, the bicycle fever has caught Filipinos’ fancy as it became one of the main alternatives in going around the metro.

An instant 1-2 combination of exercise and traveling, cycling helps frontliners and workers to keep a much faster and healthier lifestyle, while many fitness experts believe that having a vigorous mode of transportation helps people a build stronger endurance and immune system — perfect in fighting the spread of the virus.

To further improve the use of active transportation, the Department of Transportation and different local government units built different biker-friendly routes and lanes for safer travel.

The transportation department completed a whooping 497-KMs worth of bike lanes all over the country composed of pavements, proper markings, physical separators and road signages.

In the National Capital Region alone, 313 kilometers have been opened for riders’ use; while in Metro Cebu, 129 kms have been utilized for transport and 55 kms in Metro Davao.

DOTr also sets another P2 billion for the continuous improvement of the bike lane network in the county.

Local government units released rules and regulations for cyclists, such as wearing helmets and other protective gears, following proper traffic laws and installation of warning devices such as lights and brakes for bikes for a much safer environment and to avoid accidents on the road.

While we are slowly getting tuned in to the “new normal” with the return of public transportation, it is safe to say that cycling as a mode of transportation is here to stay.

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