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UP issues new policies on road-sharing scheme to prevent bike accidents

/ 05:05 AM January 22, 2018

A white line dissecting the innermost lane of the UP Academic Oval is meant to protect runners from bikers. Jhesset O. Enano

To prevent accidents on the Academic Oval, officials of the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, have decided to divide into two the exclusive lane for runners and bikers.

A one-way traffic flow will also be enforced for bikers while the 15-kilometer per hour speed limit will be strictly implemented, according to Nestor Castro, UP vice chancellor for community affairs.

Castro said that campus officials decided to paint a white demarcation line on the innermost lane of the Academic Oval to separate runners or joggers from cyclists.

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“[It was done] to prevent accidents where pedestrians get hit by speeding bikes,” he told the Inquirer recently.

With its towering trees that provide shade, the sprawling UP Diliman campus is considered one of Metro Manila’s “green lungs” and an ideal place where people can walk, jog, run or ride bikes, even have picnics.

The UP Diliman Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs last week clarified the new policies on road-sharing which were approved by Chancellor Michael Tan in November.

As recommended by the UP Diliman Non-Motorized Mobility Sub-Committee, the inner lane of the oval will be divided into two. The innermost lane, including the sidewalk, will be exclusive to pedestrians. Cyclists, on the other hand, will occupy the outer lane where a one-way traffic scheme will be implemented.

“On weekends and holidays, the pedestrians, including children on bicycles with trainer wheels, should be occupying the outer bigger lane while bikes can occupy the two inner lanes,” Castro said.

Carless days

Cars and motorcycles are banned from the oval on Sundays and holidays, he clarified.

Delineator posts will also be installed soon to serve as a barrier between the exclusive lane for runners/bikers from the one set aside for vehicles.

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According to Castro, the changes were due to reports of accidents involving bikers.

Last year, an elderly woman, whom he did not identify, reportedly died after being struck by a speeding bike on the oval on a Sunday, he said.

“She fell down and bumped her head on the pavement,” Castro added, clarifying that the victim was not a member of the UP community. “She was brought by relatives to the hospital where she died.”

Another incident in September involved a university official who reported that she was verbally assaulted by two unidentified cyclists on racer bikes who were in full racing gear.

Because of the incident, UP officials have banned bike racing and speed riding anywhere within the campus, Castro said.

A speed limit of 15-kph for cyclists has also been set although Castro admitted compliance would be difficult to monitor without speed guns.
Antispeeding scheme
He said there was an approved scheme under which horizontal lines would be drawn on the bike lane. With a timer, it will be possible to determine cyclists’ speed by calculating how fast they go from one line to the next.

But this has yet to be enforced as “there has to be designated people monitoring the situation,” Castro said, adding that more work needed to be done on the exclusive lane. “We still have to put colors, signs and horizontal lines.”

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