Iloilo City plans inclusion of bicycle infrastructure in land use update

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MEMBERS OF the Dutch Cycling Embassy present the “Think Bike Workshop” output to Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas, seated with Dutch Ambassador to the Philippines Saskia Elisabeth de Lang. — BW/ERSSANTIAGUDO

By Emme Rose S. Santiagudo, Correspondent

THE ILOILO City government will include bicycle lanes and other related infrastructure in its ongoing review and updating of its Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP).

“The bike lanes and biking will become part of our comprehensive land use plan so that whatever infrastructure needed to make it easier for bikers to go around the city, we will be able to include it in our plan,” Mayor Jerry P. Treñas said last week after receiving the results of the “Think Bike Workshop” organized by the Dutch Cycling Embassy.

Representatives of the Dutch Cycling Embassy, together with Dutch Ambassador to the Philippines Saskia Elisabeth de Lang, presented to the mayor last October 9 the output from the workshop, which was participated in by members of the tourism and planning offices of the local government, the transport sector, and cycling civic society organizations.

The Dutch Cycling Embassy is a public-private partnership of The Netherlands government and private consultants on urban planning and cycling in Asia.

Mr. Treñas acknowledged that bicycles, as a form of transportation, can help decongest the city and improve its mobility.

“We have a growing population on biking, most of them do it for recreation. Biking for transportation can be a tool to decongest the city,” he said.

Ms. De Lang, for her part, said with some bike lanes and a growing community of enthusiasts already present in the city, it is only a matter of making biking more accessible and safe for everybody in terms of infrastructure.

“It is already in the tradition, now it’s about making it accessible for everybody in terms of infrastructures. Biking should be safe, it should easy to take a bike when going to work, shopping, or biking along the river,” she said.

“I am pleased that the mayor sees the future and he knows that this will develop more economic growth and more investments. Thinking about the future and the zoning and land use planning in the city, I am pleased to hear that biking can be fitted in those future plans,” she added.