Cebu City Mayor Rama won’t allow bike runs unless conditions are met

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Cause for concern. Children joined the Earth Hour bike run last Saturday. The mayor wants to impose conditions on the safety of future runs. (Sun.Star Foto/Arni Aclao)


CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama wants no more bike runs in the city unless organizers meet several conditions.

The mayor said he was “upset” over how the bike run went during the Earth Hour celebration last Saturday night, especially at the Fuente Osmeña area.

“I saw the alarm when I went to Fuente. Mura sila’g su’om (black ants). Ang mga bikers ga-sud bisan asa...Gawas diri, gawas didto. Mura sila’g tag-iya sa da’n. Murag nakabuhi, bisan asa gaagi. That should not be. Di na mao. I am upset nagtan-aw sa Fuente (Bikers just went where they wanted to, as though they owned the road),” he said.

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Habagat Outdoor Equipment, who organized the Earth Hour Night Ride that covered a 10-km. route, said they will issue their official statement about the matter today.

The activity was reported to have been participated in by at least 5,000 bikers.

In his regular news conference yesterday, Rama said he was concerned that accidents might happen after seeing the situation at Fuente, so much so that he went out of his vehicle and ended up managing the traffic in the area.

“It will have a very costly damage to the life and limb of the bikers. I would not want ing-ana ang buhaton. I was worried that any of these bikers might be hit kay di man sila makit-an. Kung naay isa nga maigo, it will have a domino effect. Next time, if the mayor will have to do the trafficking, it means it was not well planned (They can’t be seen, they might be hit),” he said.

Conditions

Rama set several requirements for the organizers before a bike run should be held. He said a temporary lane should be designated for the sole use of the bikers.

Aside from that, the bikers should have proper safety gears. The mayor also asked that road marshals be deployed during the activity, just like what is being done during marathons.

“I am not against the bikers. I am not against the undertaking, but there will be no second bike run next year unless all these requirements are met,” he said.

Rama also asked the City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) not to easily approve permits for the holding of bike runs unless the safety and security of the participants are ensured.

He said he will have a meeting with Citom about the matter.

Penitential run

In line with his directive, the mayor yesterday ordered to temporarily put on hold the holding of a “penitential bike run” on April 2, this Maundy Thursday.

Councilor Gerardo Carillo, one of the organizers, said the activity seeks to visit 14 churches in the city and will be participated in by at least 200 bikers. It will start at 4 a.m. Until 8 a.m.

Upon learning about the mayor’s pronouncement, Carillo said they are willing to comply with the conditions so the event will push through.

He said he will ask the bikers to wear safety gears.

The activity, he added, already have 20 marshals and an ambulance to ensure the safety of the participants.

“We will comply with all the requirements. We have no problem with that,” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 31, 2015.

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