MANILA, Philippines - Marikina Mayor Del de Guzman urged residents living along the bike lanes to clear obstructions in preparation for the planned rehabilitation of the city's 52-kilometer interconnected bikeway network.
De Guzman made the call during an inspection of the bike lanes which showed many clotheslines, awnings, tarpaulins, tables and chairs protruding into the bike lanes.
Many residents apparently took advantage of the closure of the Marikina Bikeways Office (MBO) in 2007, particularly in Barangay Calumpang, to extend their property into the bike lanes.
''We do not want our bikers and cyclists to meet accidents because of some inconsiderate people,'' said De Guzman.
In 2007, Marikina recorded 552,435 total bike traffic in the city. These individuals utilized the bike lanes when going to work, school, or just moving around the city.
''Since biking has gained popularity among Marikeños, we thought of revitalizing and making our bike lanes a one-of-its-kind in the country. Marikina City's bikeways network was constructed in 2003 through a $1.3-million grant from the World Bank,'' De Guzman said.
Marikina City, known as a bike-friendly city and the country's ''bike capital,'' is set to relaunch the upgraded bike lanes in April with President Aquino as special guest.