BAGUIO CITY – The ban on motorcycles, bicycles and motorcycles within the city limits is not a new law but an old and operative, albeit agreeably outdated, statute.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan clarified thus after the memorandum he issued last February 4 to city police director Sr. Supt. George Daskeo to implement ordinances prohibiting the use of two-wheeled vehicles and tricycles within the city boundaries drew flaks in social media.
The mayor said the order was meant to ease traffic flow and enhance the safety of motorists after complaints reached his office on the danger caused by these vehicles along busy streets.
He said he did not intend to deprive motoring and biking enthusiasts of their sporting and mobility needs nor was he going against the environmental campaign to encourage biking and walking as drummed up by some bloggers and Facebook commenters who criticized the mayor’s move.
“I also agree that the use of these vehicles should be encouraged but until the law is amended or suspended, it remains in effect. I hope the people will not fault me for implementing the law,” the mayor said.
The mayor said in fact, the city has not been fully implementing the total ban on motorcycles and bicycles and has even been allowing them to traverse areas outside Session Road and even in parts of the central business district.
“But because of the complaints that we have been receiving, we thought we had to implement these laws fully to alleviate our traffic problem and ensure the safety of the riding public,” the mayor said.
Amid the online brouhaha, members of the Cordillera Motorcycle Association led by Robert Macamba and Watson Tabat met with the mayor and the city council and aired their request to have the ordinance amended in such a way that they will be allowed to traverse all roads at all times except in Session Road and Harrison Road where they will be allowed only on “window hours.” The ban on tricycles will remain.
The mayor expressed willingness to consider the recommendations and asked the group to submit their proposed amendments which will be used as basis for repealing or amending the existing ordinances by the city council.
While this is being worked out, the mayor agreed to revert back to the old arrangement of allowing them entry in all roads except at Session Road.
Councilor Joel Alangsab, chair of the city council committee on traffic and transportation last Wednesday began conducting consultations with the motorcycle groups on the possible amendments. More consultations will be scheduled with the other stakeholders to determine the consensus on the matter.
The mayor said complaints reaching him pointed to transgressions by some undisciplined motorcyclists and bikers ranging from overspeeding to the detriment of other vehicles to noise and indiscriminate parking.
Ordinance No. 66 series of 1948 imposed the total ban on motorcycles, tricycle, scooters, bicycles or motorbikes within the city limits except on specified areas. This was later amended by Ordinance No. 329 series of 1960, Ordinance No. 418 series of 1965 and Ordinance No. 423 series of 1965 but all of these in essence retained the total prohibition. Ordinance No. 28 approved in 2012 banned tricycles in the city and this is being enforced up to now.
In 2000, there was a proposal to lift the prohibition for the motorcycles and bicycles but during consultations, the public posed objections prompting the city council to retain the ban./A Refuerzo