The Saipan Mayor’s Office is in support of the establishment of bicycle lanes with the consideration of a few suggestions.
Rep. Donald Barcinas (R-Saipan) proposed House Bill 20-97 that requires project owners to include design and construction costs for bicycle lanes into road construction projects.
According to Apatang’s public comments, he is in support of this proposal because it ensures safety for community member and it also promotes healthy living.
“It is a good way to ensure that members of our municipality have safe bicycle lanes to promote an active and healthy lifestyle,” Apatang’s comments stated.
The Saipan Mayor’s Office believes that in providing the community with a safe pathway and bicycle lane, it increases the efforts in decreasing the rate of health related problems like diabetes and heart disease.
“A municipality that promotes a healthy lifestyle by offering its residents facilities and infrastructures to keep them physically active is a municipality that will axiomatically spend less in healthcare and have a healthy populace with a longer lifespan,” Apatang’s comments read.
The mayor’s office suggests that the local delegation prioritizes the construction of concrete curbs and sidewalks along Beach Road and Chalan Pale Arnold first for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
“Dust, gravel, and rocks kicked up by vehicles end up on the asphalt surface of Beach Road and create an unsafe driving surface for motorists and most especially bicyclists and pedestrians,” the comments said.
The Saipan Mayor’s Office also suggests that the proposed bill should include general requirements on bicycle lanes’ width and length that a project owner must pay for.
Apatang is in full support of the bill but requests that the suggestions raised by his office are considered.
“The bill is good but we recommend amending it to consider the concerns we raised,” he said.