Metro Manila cyclists get introduced to ‘Inclusive Mobility’ and mapping

CYCLISTS in Metro Manila seem to have a death wish. They brave the stupefying heat and dirty air; they risk being hit by reckless drivers; they put up with the lack of cycling facilities.

Why do cyclists endure these hassles? Because cycling is “eco-friendly,  cost-effective, and efficient,” said Marie Danielle V. Guillen, PhD., the project manager of “Catalyzing New Mobility in Cities: The Case of Metro Manila.”

The project, called Inclusive Mobility for short, is implemented by the Innovation at the Base of the Pyramid in Southeast Asia (iBoP-Asia) Program. iBoP-Asia is under the Ateneo School of Government.

Bicycles have no emissions. They need little maintenance. Unlike car owners, cyclists need not worry about oil price hikes or parking fees.

Bike commuting can transform the worst part of one’s day into the best part. While motorists sit and stew in their cars, cyclists zip past them.

These are just some of the reasons why we must promote cycling in Metro Manila, said Dr. Guillen at the non-motorized (NMT) forum and mapping workshop organized by Inclusive Mobility. Three groups that promote cycling—Firefly Brigade, Cycling Advocates, and Bikes for the Philippines—worked with Inclusive Mobility to make the event possible.

Private cars have long been given more priority on the streets of the megacity.

“This focus on the car has brought about congestion, urban sprawl, and pollution,” she said. “We must bring back sustainable modes like walking, cycling, and public transport to make Metro Manila a better place to live in.”

Fifty-two participants attended the event, which was held on April 21 at Ateneo De Manila University in Quezon City. Most of them were cyclists. Representatives from the cities of Marikina and Pasig and the Department of Public Works and Highways also took part in the activity.

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