In this age of high speed communication, technology and transportation, a bicycle may not be the ideal and fast way to get to a place on time. It’s just like getting into a time warp when roads were rough and narrow and bullet trains were not even in mankind’s imagination.
Today however with all these consciousness on environmental protection and nature conservation, bicycles have a great place, especially in what we call “Green Cities” and “Green Schools.”
So, why not pedal your way to school?
The bicycle has been a handy form of recreation, sport and transportation means since it first took the roads almost two centuries ago – in 1817.
No less than Br. President Manuel Pajarillo FSC is giving a nod to the idea. Bro. Mawel, himself a biking enthusiast, recalled that in his “six years of studying in Belgium, bike used to be my transportation on my way to school too and that was the healthiest times of my life.”
Parajillo added that biking is beneficial especially that in can cope with the country’s problem on traffic congestion and air pollution. “It promotes good health, energy efficiency and it is a way to show environmental respect,” he said.
Students, too, welcome the idea.
Athena Esona, junior Accounting Technology student said that using a bicycle as a means of transportation can help in minimizing air pollution and if everybody uses bicycle it can also lessen traffic and would avoid students in getting late in school.
“Bike-to-School campaign could also help the young generation to lessen the time we spend to our gadgets, by this campaign socialization and healthy lifestyle among our generation could also be improved,” said Andrea Salillas, Hospitality Management student.
While it sounds an easy proposition, the campaign needs thorough study and planning.
Legislation is one important aspect that The LEAD has to engage in through lobbying with city officials. It is more than just using safety helmets. Facilities must eventually be in place, like road lanes, for strict use and safety rules.
On campus, bike racks must be installed for parking, a similar need also in public places where cyclists can park their two-wheelers.
Legal requirements, like bike lights and reflectors, must be made part of the legislative details.
Austere Gamao, a LiaCom senior, recognized the bottlenecks, like the cost of constructing bike lanes and road risks for bikers but, otherwise, he added, it has positive effects on the environment, including the shift from oil consumption to human energy.
The campaign has also gained initial breakthrough with what Br. Dindo Maralit FSC, vice chancellor for administration disclosed. His office, in coordination with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Mission and Development, is planning “to create a design for bike rack location”. The design will be appealing enough so that we can promote members of the Lasallian community to get interested in riding their bikes to school, he added.
Also endorsing The LEAD proposal are Education Gov. Angelo Cachero and Arts and Sciences’ Gov. John Rey Blance, a Communication senior.
The campaign when materialized will achieve two things – health and fitness awareness and Lasallians contributing to efforts on pollution reduction. Cachero said.
The CAS College Council, Blance said, will support the plan all-out because it is beneficial to the student and the environment.
The Bike to School campaign, he added, will truly make La Salle a greener campus, he reiterated.
The campaign can only succeed through a persistent program that will educate bicycle users, motorists and other commuters to ensure public safety.
Said Br. Mawel: “The people should be educated so that bike culture can be sustainable.”