September 20, 2022

Ahead of World Car-Free Day, Baguio City counts people on bicycles

Baguio City: September 19, 2022 – In advance of the celebration of World Car-Free Day, cycling advocates and the local government of Baguio City counted cyclists in seven areas in the city from September 17-19, 2022. They undertook this count to establish baseline data on the number of residents using bicycles for daily transport, to help local policymakers make informed decisions on transport route network planning.

“The data will essentially be a treasure for the LGU. It can be incorporated into the Smart Mobility project that the Hon. Mayor [Benjie Magalong] is aggressively pursuing,” Eugene Valbuena, focal person of bike-related activities of the office of the Mayor of Baguio City said.

“It would be utilized for data analytics, gender sensitivity program of the city, bicyclist population, identify leisure, bike to work, and for sports, infrastructure development, as well as a tool for future decision-making road use particularly, oriented walking and cycling programs of the LGU,” Valbuena added, saying that the data will also be a tool for comparison vis-a-vis carbonized transport system and non-carbonized system of mobility.

Apart from the Baguio City LGU, this three-day count is a citizen-led collaborative capacity-sharing effort organized by Daily Cycle Movement Baguio and Team Next Generation – WAEWA Baguio Cycling Team in collaboration with the convenors of the Mobility Awards, namely the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, The Climate Reality Project Philippines, MNL Moves, 35o  Pilipinas, and Pinay Bike Commuter Community.

Over 60 cycling advocates volunteered to perform the count in La Trinidad, M Roxas, Irisan, Loakan, Marcos Highway, Military Cut-off Road, and Leonard Wood Road during peak hours in the morning (6:00 AM to 8:00 AM) and afternoon (4:00 PM to 6:00 PM).

Earlier this year, the Mobility Awards hailed Baguio City as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the Philippines, owing to its initiative of putting more bike lanes in the city through its shared roads concept. Two Baguio City residents, namely Valerie De Guzman and Vince Dangiapo were also recognized as Padyak Champions in the awards for their outstanding work as cycling couriers.

RELATED: More than 500 volunteers count people on bicycles nationwide

Similar bike counts, dubbed as the June Bike Count, were held in other Philippine cities and were participated in by more than 600 cycling volunteers. Four Metro Manila cities, namely Pasig, Marikina, San Juan, and Quezon City, conducted their bike counts on June 28, while Iloilo City led its own each Friday of June. Cebu City ran its count from June 23 to 25; Mandaue City conducted its count for a week straight from June 14 to 19; and Naga City held its count on June 24, 26, and 27. Davao City, meanwhile, held its own on July 12.