Proposed ordinances on mandatory bicycle lanes, display of ad signs, use roof gardens up for consultation

BAGUIO CITY – The City Council through the Committee on Public Works will hold a public consultation on the proposed ordinances for the installation of mandatory pedestrian, brisk-walking and bicycle lane on Sept. 25, 8 a.m. to 12 noon at the Multipurpose Hall, City Hall.

The proposed ordinance "Allowing for the Installation of Mandatory Pedestrian, Brisk-Walking and Bicycle Lane in all Feasible Roads in the City of Baguio" authored by Councilor Lilia Farinas aims to promote pedestrianism and use of non-motorized modes of transport to address air pollution and traffic congestion in the City and at the same time promote better health for residents and visitors.

In the proposal, Farinas sought the installation of pedestrian, brisk walking or bicycle lane, by painting or any other practical means on feasible roads including those under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The pedestrian and bicycle lane will run parallel along the right side of the road or street identified by a 4-inch white and yellow, diagonally stripe line, painted with standard road paint and will be measured from the right-most side of the road one meter more or less pursuant to minimum ergonomic and anthropometric standards as may be advised by the City Engineering Office and the DPWH, as well as it shall be in ratio and proportion to the whole width of the street or the road, which means narrower streets will have narrow lanes.

The proposed ordinance authored by Councilor Faustino Olowan which seeks to provide policies and guidelines for the display of signs, signboards and advertising materials in the city aims to repeal Ordinance No. 111, series of 1949 which regulates the display or erection of signs, signboards and bulletin boards in the city, prescribing permit fees and providing for other purposes and ordinance No. 302, series of 1958.

As proposed, applicants for permit shall secure a clearance or authorization from the barangay concerned where said billboard, signs or signboards shall be placed; submit a written request addressed to the Office of the City Mayor, which will be endorsed to the City Planning and Development Office or the Department of Public works and Highways as the case may be; accomplish all the necessary requirements as further laid down under existing rules and regulations; obtain clearance; pay the necessary fees and obtain permit from the City Building and Architecture office (CBAO).

The signs and signboard structure may be constructed only in areas where zoning regulations permit them; no sign or signboard structures shall be placed or erected on parks and playgrounds, beside power substations or residential, institutional and recreation zones; signs shall display only messages or visuals that conform to public decency or good taste; signs shall be placed in such as manner as not to confuse or obstruct the view or interpretation of any public sign, traffic signal or devise, nor obstruct the sight, attract or destruct the attention of motorists, reflect blinding light or cause glare oncoming traffic; advertising materials made up of tarpaulins may be allowed, provided, the owners employ a crew who will detach and roll down the same in case there will be a typhoon bulletin; tarpaulins and reinforced fabric advertising signs shall only be allowed to be displayed for a maximum period of 2 weeks, unless the same is extended through the approval of the City Mayor, including payment of appropriate fees and no signs, signboards or bulletin boards shall be nailed, bolted or installed to any part of a tree, as provided for in Ordinance No. 005, series of 1990 as amended by Ordinance NO. 006, series of 2012.

The other proposal up for scrutiny deals with regulating the use of roof gardens of buildings if and when used as refreshment parlor, bar, night club, restaurant, floor or stage show and/or other public use and if and when parties and social gatherings are to be held thereat shall conform with several requirements.

Proponent Councilor Leandro Yangot Jr. said the requirements include the provision of sufficient fire escapes or stairs; reinforcement of outer walls with concrete hollow blocks five feet high with one fourth inch wire mesh, three feet high over such walls.

If the building's side is fronting a street or open court, the width of which is not less than ten meters, the height of the reinforced concrete or concrete hollow block wall may be reduced to a minimum of four feet without the necessity of providing the wire mesh over the wall.

Roof gardens of buildings not in conformity with the requirements shall not be allowed, in any case, to be used as refreshment parlor, bar, night club, restaurant, floor or stage show or other public use. – Aileen P. Refuerzo

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