Group says 147,800 cyclists helped reduce emissions, urges LGUs to count bikers

At least 147,800 cyclists helped reduce carbon emissions by 36.74 metric tons, but the number of riders has declined for several reasons, a group said.

In a statement, cycling movement The Mobility Awards said that its Bilang Siklista Bike Count tallied 147,800 bicycle riders in 17 cities across the country. It conducted the count during what it said was the four-hour peak time for riders, in the morning and afternoon, on seven different weekdays in June and July.

The group said that the 36.74 metric tons of emissions saved is equivalent to 15,649 liters of gasoline consumed or 18,667 kilograms of coal burned.

Bilang Siklista also showed that cyclists helped save up to P208,224 fuel from motorcycles and P615,207 from cars.

However, this year’s findings also showed a sharp decrease in cyclists, from the recorded 191,578 cyclists in 2022.

“The decline in the number of cyclists has been attributed by volunteers to unsafe road conditions, including deteriorating conditions of bike lanes and encroachment of motorists in designated bike lanes; the easing of COVID-19 restrictions on public transport; and the continuous rains that poured on the days of the count,” said Mobility Awards National Coordinator Arielle Celine Tabinga.

With this, the organization encouraged other cities and local governments to systematically count all road users, not only motorized vehicles but also cyclists and pedestrians.

“This should be an integral part of cities’ transport and infrastructure monitoring systems that would better inform their local transport and investment planning,” said Aldrin Pelicano, MNL Moves founder and one of the convenors of the Mobility Awards.

From June to July 2023, 817 volunteers participated in the bike count in 17 cities across the Philippines.

Before the launch of Bilang Siklista, a Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey also showed that one out of three households in the Philippines, amounting to around 10 million homes, own at least one bicycle.

Bilang Siklista is a citizen-led bike count initiative organized by the Mobility Awards, which is convened by the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC), The Climate Reality Project Philippines, MNL Moves, 350 Pilipinas, and Pinay Bike Commuter Community, along with 27 regional partners and the League of Cities of the Philippines. — Sherylin Untalan/BM, GMA Integrated News

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