La­bella backs CCTO on ban of scoot­ers

The Freeman - - Front Page - Mary Ruth R. Mali­nao and Cae­cent No-ot Mag­sum­bol, Staff Mem­bers

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo La­bella is stand­ing by the de­ci­sion of Cebu City Trans­porta­tion Of­fice (CCTO) to ban elec­tric or gas-pow­ered scoot­ers on the city’s ma­jor thor­ough­fares de­spite op­po­si­tions.

La­bella said the de­ci­sion was based on lo­cal or­di­nance and or­der from the Land Trans­porta­tion Of­fice.

"We have to fol­low it. Be­sides, it's re­ally dan­ger­ous. It's an ac­ci­dent wait­ing to hap­pen if we al­low them to pass through the main thor­ough­fares," said La­bella.

How­ever, t he Depa r t ment of Trans­porta­tion ( DOTr) has yet to fi­nal­ize the guide­lines on the use of those kinds of ve­hi­cle.

“Subay sa ka­mandu- an sa LTO nga ipadakop an ge-s coo te rog kat on ga du nay ma kin an ga be­low 50cc nga gada­gan sa kadalanan. Ar­ti­cle 4 of Sec­tion 7 sa atong Or­di­nansa sa Syu­dad sa Sugbo nga gadili sa maong mga sakyanan nga makada­gan sa kadalanan sa syu­dad. Among gi­awhag ang mga nanag- i ya ni­ini nga dili gami­ton sa kadalanan sa Syu­dad sa Sugbo,” CCTO's public ad­vi­sory reads.

CCTO spokesper­son John Paul Amores said the ban on e- scoot­ers takes ef­fect im­me­di­ately. The mayor, how­ever, clar­i­fied that oper­a­tion of e- scoot­ers may be al­lowed on barangay roads and in pri­vate vil­lages.

"I think there is no prob­lem with that, but not in the main thor­ough­fares," said La­bella.

"Safety is very im­por­tant... We even re­quire ve­hi­cles to reg­is­ter so that they will be prop­erly mon­i­tored," he added.

REG­U­LA­TION NOT BAN

For Vice Mayor Michael Rama, e- scoot­ers should be reg­u­lated in­stead of ban­ning them on city roads. He said these can be al­lowed to op­er­ate in the des­ig­nated bike lanes.

As far as the City Coun­cil is con­cerned, Rama said he has tasked Coun­cilor Joel Gar­gan­era to look into it.

Ear­lier, Gar­gan­era ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment on the de­ci­sion of CCTO. He de­scribed it as un­timely con­sid­er­ing that e- scoot­ers has been used as al­ter­na­tive means of trans­porta­tion, es­pe­cially by front­lin­ers, dur­ing this time of COVID- 19 pan­demic.

Al­though Rama ad­mit­ted that safety con­cerns should also be con­sid­ered.

“It's some­thing that should not also be ig­nored be­cause e- scoot­ers also oc­cupy the road. Good enough, na­sug­nan na ang bike lane, it is where aptly they should be,” he said.

Meanwhile, La­bella said con­sul­ta­tions with the stake­hold­ers and ex­perts on trans­porta­tion will be made as part of the as­sess­ment on bike lane's im­pact to traf­fic.

"In fact naa man ta'y ad hoc com­mit­tee aning bike to con­tinue with eval­u­a­tion be­cause we can­not just eval­u­ate with­out putting some kind of an ex­per­i­men­tal area, mura'g pi­lot, so that we will know the traf­fic im­pact," said La­bella.

"While we have es­tab­lished t hat, we will con­tinue eval­u­a­tion and ob­ser­va­tion and mon­i­tor­ing so that we will find out on how we could best im­ple­ment the bike lane in the city," he added.

The mayor said one of the things that they have to look into is to en­sure that bike lanes will not be abused or used by other kind types of ve­hi­cle.

"It should be only de­voted t o bi­cy­cles be­cause bi­cy­cles do not have an en­gine, and of course the move­ment is not as those with en­gines. We have to see to it nga dili masag­u­lan," said La­bella.

The city govern­ment, through CCTO, has started paint­ing the bike lanes green as part of the ef­forts to ful­fill its prom­ise months ago -- the es­tab­lish­ment of bike lanes in its streets. —

ALDO NELBERT BANAYNAL

The Cebu City govern­ment’s de­ci­sion to ban scoot­ers on city roads will be a big blow for these med­i­cal front­lin­ers, who have come to de­pend on scoot­ers for their trans­porta­tion in this time of pan­demic.

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