The San Juan Daily Star
With another cycling death, senator urges passage of measures to make roads safer
By The Star Staff
With the news of the most recent death of a cyclist on island roads, at-large Sen. Keren Riquelme Cabrera asked the Senate to approve a package of measures of her authorship that seeks to implement new initiatives to make the roads safer for bike riders.
“In October 2022, we filed a package of measures to make our streets safer for the enjoyment of cycling enthusiasts in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, the measures have not been addressed,” the New Progressive Party senator said. “Today, sadly, we woke up to the news of the death of another cyclist in Puerto Rico. I call on the parliamentary majority to begin the evaluation of this package of legislation with the urgency merited by the problems we face.”
On Tuesday morning, the Police Bureau reported that a man died when he was hit by a truck on highway PR-6 in the jurisdiction of Bayamón. The victim was the fifth cyclist to die this year in roadway accidents in Puerto Rico.
“These measures are important; the safety of cyclists is at stake,” Riquelme said. “We have not addressed them for months. I hope that they will be evaluated in the full Senate before the end of this session in June.”
Senate Bill 1059, filed on Oct. 20, directs the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP by its Spanish acronym), as well as the Highways and Transportation Authority to integrate the development of new bike lanes and the expansion of existing ones, all within its “Strategic Road Safety Plan” for the next fiscal year 2023-2024, which begins on July 1.
Senate Resolution 346, meanwhile, orders the DTOP to submit a detailed report on the current condition of bike lanes, including the current plans to address repairs that are being worked on at the moment and those scheduled in a recurring maintenance program, which must include correcting deficiencies in lighting and signage, among other actions.
Both measures are under evaluation by the Senate Committee on Innovation, Telecommunications, Urban Planning and Infrastructure.