October 10, 2018 by Stephen Bentley
Bacolod Bicycle Lanes – Will They Work?
That’s a good question: will they work? I’m talking about the new Bacolod bicycle lanes project. I hope they do partly because they have cost P62M (about 1.1M USD). That’s a lot of money to spend on some yellow lines painted on the road.
However, the main reason I hope they work is to make the roads here safer for all users including cyclists and there are many of them in this country. You see the serious ones every day of the week clad in Lycra furiously pedaling away on their top-end machines.
Here is one reason why the good intentions are immediately dismantled by selfish car drivers. Take a look at the picture below.
You can immediately see what the problem is and how it’s caused. The real cause is drivers with a mindset that says, “I own the road and to hell with anyone else.” It is evident not only in the above image but on many other occasions here. For example, drivers too impatient to wait for a green so they set off prematurely on a red; blocking intersections even though the driver can make no forward progress; and counter-flowing as the driver is too impatient to wait in the correct lane for his or her turn to make orderly progress.
There’s the key: “orderly.” There is too much disorder and chaos on the roads here. It becomes the survival of the fittest to drive about our city streets.
It never ceases to amaze me that the normally friendly local turns into a different person when you put him behind a steering wheel. Not all. but a significant minority.
The real answer is not yellow lines. The answers are (a) enforcement and (b) better driver training.
Those who know me also know I have been writing about such things for the past three years. I even wrote a book about it because I was genuinely shocked by what I experienced on first arriving in the Philippines. That book is available as a Kindle eBook on Amazon but you may download it for free if you subscribe to my monthly newsletter.
In fact, you can take a preview of it below.
I must add efforts are being made to step up enforcement. I know of one local school where parents would double, even triple park, and leave their cars all day outside of the school creating traffic issues. Local enforcement officers have clamped down big-time.
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