‘MOST BIKE-FRIENDLY CITY’: Iloilo City bags top mobility accolade

Iloilo City buttressed its reputation as the most bike-friendly city in the country after bagging the top plum in the 2021 Mobility Awards. (Arnold Almacen photo)

By Joseph B.A. Marzan

The 2021 Mobility Awards on Thursday, Nov. 25, named Iloilo City as the most bike-friendly city in the country, besting 29 other cities in the country and further supports its goal of being the country’s premier biking capital.

Iloilo City received the nationwide Gold Award, with runners-up Mandaue City, Cebu and Naga City, Camarines Sur bagging the Silver Award.

The city also clinched Gold within the Visayas region, with Mandaue City and Cebu City getting the Silver and Bronze awards, respectively.

Other regional nominees included Bacolod City, Borongan City, Danao City, Masbate City and Tacloban City.

Naga City bagged the top Silver Award in Luzon, followed by Baguio City as Bronze awardee.

Other Luzon nominees included Antipolo, Bacoor, Batangas, Cavite, Dagupan, Lucena, Muñoz, Puerto Princesa, San Fernando, San Jose del Monte, Santa Rosa, Tagaytay, and Vigan cities.

In Mindanao, Davao City got Silver while Gingoog City got Bronze, beating out Cagayan de Oro, Cotabato, General Santos, Iligan, and Surigao cities.

The Iloilo City government learned of its victory through a letter it received on Nov 23, 2021.

As Gold Award winner, the city government is set to receive a Gold Bicycle-Friendly Recognition Sign, a certification designating the city’s ranking, and gift certificates from bicycle-friendly establishments worth P10,000 for the team members behind the city’s nomination.

Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas called the award a “great honor” in his recorded acceptance speech and touted the city’s planned 32-kilometer bike lane network.

As of this writing, the city currently has 11 kilometers of active bike lanes, 4 kilometers of which are located at the Benigno Aquino Avenue spanning Mandurriao and Jaro districts.

Other parts of the city’s bike lane network may be found in major thoroughfares in City Proper which enjoy a high volume of traffic flow.

“With our desire for a sustainable city, we provided an alternative mode of transportation that aims to lessen carbon footprints as our response to the rising impacts of climate change. I believe that bike lanes contribute more spaces on the roads, and an improved traffic flow because cyclists do not need to dodge cars in the road while maintaining safety in turning and avoiding fixed obstacles,” Treñas said in his speech.

The Mobility Awards started in 2020 recognizing leaders in Metro Manila which promoted cycling at the greater height of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

According to its website, the awards “is a platform that recognizes acts of leadership by Philippine local governments, workplaces and commercial establishments promoting cycling as a reliable, efficient and sustainable mode of transport among their constituencies, customers, employees and communities.”

Its organizers are the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, MNL Moves, The Climate Reality Project Philippines, 350.org Philippines, and the Pinay Bike Commuter Community.

Last year’s winners include Gold Award winner Pasig City and Silver Award winners Marikina City and San Juan City.