JV Ejercito’s minor accident in Manila triggers calls for safer bike lanes

November 22, 2021 - 5:54 PM
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This composite shows the damaged bicycle of former senator JV Ejercito and a photo of a pothole in Roxas Boulevard, Manila. (JV Ejercito/Facebook, Twitter)

Calls for more safe spaces for cyclists were sought online after a senatorial aspirant figured in a bike accident along Roxas Boulevard in Manila.

JV Ejercito shared on Twitter that he met an accident on Monday morning and attached a photo of the pothole that caused it.

“Ouch! Fell hard riding alone here at Roxas Boulevard didn’t see a pothole,” Ejercito said.

In a separate Facebook post, Ejercito said that he lost control of his front wheel while biking along the road.

He also got his elbow wounded.

“I hit a small pothole while doing a solo ride and sprinting along the stretch of Roxas Boulevard. I lost control as my front wheel wobbled, then fell hard on my bike,” Ejercito said.

“Hopefully I’ve no internal hemorrhage, will have CT Scan later to be sure. Thank you to Manong UV Express who rescued me. Ride safe everyone! Ingat tayo sa kalye,” he added.

As messages of well-wishes for the former senator pour in the comments section, some pointed out that such incident should serve as proof of the road hazards cyclists experience on a daily basis.

They cited the different cracks, holes and other safety risks along the supposed bike lanes or paths installed for bikers.

“Sobrang daming road hazards lalo na sa gilid ng mga kalsada kung saan ineexpect na mag-stay ang mga naka-bisikleta. Maraming lubak, butas at crack sa daan, manholes na bukas, atbp. Tapos pag iiwasan namin yung hazard, malakas na busina maririnig namin galing sa mga motorista,” one Twitter user said.

“Dami talaga potholes sa pinas na di napapansin, (o di pinapansin / pinag tutuunan ng pansin) ng local o national gov. More than 20 years na MC rider, parang cancer na lalo dumadami. #Roadsafety sana priority din,” another Twitter user wrote.

“Hope our DPWH sees this as a great danger to our fellow bike, motorcycle and vehicle drivers and hope, they fix the road fast without delay. Ang daming hukay sa kalye and yet the work is so slow,” another user commented. 

Some users also lauded Ejercito for riding on public roads by himself.

“I am of course never happy to see cyclists crash, but I give @jvejercito credit for riding on public roads without escort cars/motorcycles,” said Robert Siy of Pasig City’s Transport Office.

Other users are hopeful that the senatorial aspirant would push for better measures for safer spaces for cyclists should he return to the Senate.

“Ngayon, start creating an ACTUAL LAW that can empower and strengthen the use of bike lane,” one Twitter user said.

“Let’s push for complete streets and better bike lanes for all people on bicycles. Get well soon!” another online user wrote.

The growth of bikers last year prompted several cities in Metro Manila to install bike lanes along major thoroughfares for their safety.

However, some cyclists pointed out that these areas pose more safety risks to them and to other commuters than riding along the main roads.

Facebook pages run by biking advocates previously posted photos that showed some bike lanes in the region were perceived unsafe and inaccessible.

The photos include rough patches, drainage covers, counterflow of vehicles, road repair and barriers, among others.

READ: Why some cyclists are avoiding bike lanes in Metro Manila