Road Revolution: Skateboarders, bikers take over Osmeña Blvd.

Posted on June 13, 2011

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It’s a mini-Sinulog without the thick crowd.

Cebuanos were in a festive mood yesterday as they roamed Osmeña Boulevard on foot or with their bicycles and skateboards.

The Road Revolution activity closed down one of Cebu’s busiest streets to make way for the citizens to enjoy a smoke-free air with no traffic.

Booths displaying organic vegetable products, solar energy technologies and recycled materials were also set up along the roa. Families and friends ran alongside each other or rode their bikes and skateboards.

Forty-seven year old mother Elsa Sultan, said the bike ride was a chance for her family to spend quality time together in a healthy way.

Sultan was with her husband and two teenage children as they rode in their bike decorated with the Independence Day theme.

“ Hopefully, this would be a regular Sunday-event,” Sultan said.

The activity began with the Freedom Walk, Run and Bike to Plaza Independencia where 20,000 signatures from Cebu City were turned over to Cebu City Councilor Edu Rama for the proposed petition to reform the road system in Cebu City.

The event, headed by Ramon Magsaysay awardee and environmentalis lawyer Antonio Oposa part of the Independence Day celebration of a national declaration of “Freedom from Oil and Air Pollution.”

“ The roads are owned by the people. They should be able to enjoy it,” Oposa told the participants in the Plaza Independencia.

He also said that our mode of transportation was wrong and we needed to change it.

Oposa is set to meet with the current City Council today to discuss his proposal seeking an allocation of 30 percent of the road to pedestrians, 30 percent to bike riders, 30 percent to collective

transportation and 10 percent to road gardens.

Meanwhile, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7) Regional Executive Director Maximo Dischoso, who also attended the opening program, said the activity would also enhance the awareness of people with regards to sustainability and preservation of the environment.

A group of dancers also conducted dancing lessons, aerobics and exercise routines in the Fuente Osmena circle.

Environment enthusiast and former Cebu city councilor Nestor Archival also showed off his solar-powered refrigerator, television and water pump.

Lawyer Rafael Yap, executive officer of the City Traffic Operation Management, said that they had deployed around 200 traffic enforcers to guard the roads during the event.

The 2.5 kilometer stretch was closed from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. to cater to the pedestrians.

The first solar, wind- and pedal-powered vehicle in the country also gave free rides to the pedestrians along Osmena Blvd yesterday.

The 18-foot vehicle. Created by Cebuano engineer Bryan Yuson of the St James Academy can carry up to 10 passengers and has a capacity of one horsepower. It runs at a slow speed of up to 20 kilometers per hour. /Reporter Candeze R. Mongaya

Bikers enjoy the car-free road on Independence Day./ CDN Photo Tonee Despojo

Bikers joins the call for a bike lane all over the city ensuring road safety and promote clean air./ CDN Photo Sam Yncierto

Bicycle riders and skateboarder enthusiasts enjoy the car-free space of Osmeña Boulevard in Cebu City./ CDN Photo Sam Yncierto

Lawyer Antonio Oposa leads environmentalists to gather 20,000 signatures along Osmeña Boulevard to be submitted to the Cebu City Council proposing to make the city's roads environment and people friendly./ CDN Photo Tonee Despojo