June 28, 2022

More than 500 volunteers count people on bicycles nationwide

Cycling community pays back to cities, counts people on bicycles to push momentum for bike revolution

Photo: AC Dimatatac

QUEZON CITY, June 28, 2022 – Over 500 cycling volunteers across the country joined this year’s June Bicycle Count today to help establish baseline data indicating the number of Filipinos using bicycles for daily transport. 

“Often, pedestrians, cyclists, and personal mobility devices are not reflected in official data which only monitors motor vehicle traffic. Through the June Bicycle Count,  we can provide policy makers a better sense of the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who have chosen cycling as the superior mobility option and why they deserve far better bicycle infrastructure such as bicycle lane networks and end-of-trip facilities,” said Aldrin Pelicano during the Metro Manila leg of the bike count simultaneously held in Quezon City, Pasig, Marikina, and San Juan.”

“As the number of bicycle users increase, and as cities continue to build and invest in safer, more efficient bike lanes, we will need more evidence to support funding allocations and inform bike design improvements,” added Pelicano, who is the founder of MNL Moves and inclusive urban mobility advisor of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC).

Advocates rolled out the Metro Manila bike count during cycling peak hours in the morning (5 AM-7 AM) and in the afternoon (4 PM-6 PM) in 45 locations in four cities, namely Quezon City, Pasig, Marikina, and San Juan. Analysis of last year’s data revealed the four cities had the largest number of bikers on the street, with Quezon City recording the highest number (16,709), followed by Pasig (11,159), Marikina (6,778), and San Juan (4,286), respectively.

“Just because they are not counted does not mean they do not exist. If we want streets and roads to be for people, we need to count not just cars, but people on bicycles. We hope cities, commercial establishments, and building owners also start counting and sharing information as to how many of their residents, customers, and partners travel and get to work, shop, and spend money by bicycles,” Pelicano said, underscoring the higher number of volunteers who joined the count this year.  

Given the last two years of the Mobility Awards, more cities are now leading the way towards safer bikeable and walkable streets. We are also challenging ourselves as citizens capable of supporting more collective efforts that can help cities more effectively promote active mobility,” added Pelicano. 

Earlier in June, bike counts were conducted in other Philippine cities, including Iloilo City where the count ran each Friday of June; Cebu City, which ran from June 23 to 25; Mandaue City, which ran its count for a week straight from June 14 to 19; and Naga City, which counted on June 24, 26, and 27. Davao City will hold its own bike count on July 12. 

Iloilo City, the most bike-friendly city selected by the Mobility Awards in 2021, yielded a total of 6,493 bikers on June 3. More cyclists were recorded on the second day of their count, where volunteers counted a total of 8,628 cyclists in 20 monitoring sites in the city.

The June Bicycle Count is a citizen-led effort spearheaded by the convenors of the Mobility Awards, namely ICSC, The Climate Reality Project Philippines, MNL Moves, 350 Pilipinas, and Pinay Bike Commuter Community, together with its regional partners iFold and Iloilo Bike Ed, Metro Naga Active Transport Community and Oragon Bikers Inc., Sugbu Bike Lanes Board and the Cebu Leads Foundation Inc., Cycle for Life Davao and United Cyclists Association. The bicycle count is done in partnership with local government units in participating cities.