Fitness enthusiasts enjoy Bacolod’s car-free Sunday 

Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, Councilor Em Ang, Bacolod Traffic Authority Office head Patrick Lacson   and the car-free Sunday participants.*Bacolod PIO photo 

Hundreds of Bacolodnons, most of whom were fitness enthusiasts, joined the first car-free Sunday along a 1.2 kilometer stretch of Lacson Street in Bacolod City on  Sunday morning, July 9. 

Lacson Street, from 5th to Ramos streets, was closed to all motorized vehicles from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. to stress the need to protect the environment and for Bacolodnons to adopt healthy lifestyles. 

Joggers, marathoners, zumba enthusiasts, residents with their pets, bikers, police personnel and city officials led by Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez were seen enjoying car-free Lacson Street. 

Lin-ay Sang Negros Kyla Romarate and 1st Runner-up Zoe Limson, both fitness and animal advocates, came to walk their dogs. 

Artfull Gallery opened their shop to give free coffee. 

Car-Free Sunday initiated by Benitez and adopted by the Bacolod Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) will be held every Sunday of June, which is Environment Month.  

Benitez in Executive Order No. 035 Series of 2024 said the car-free Sundays are part of the city’s initiative to protect the environment by promoting good air quality, creating greater public awareness of the benefits of walking, jogging, running, and cycling as sustainable ways to travel. 

It is aimed “to encourage our constituents to move more and be active physically, and engage in age and health appropriate regular exercises,” Benitez said. 

An ordinance seeking to institutionalize the car-free Sundays has also been proposed by Councilor Celia Flor and has been approved by the Bacolod SP on first reading.  

“This initiative aligns with the city’s long-term goals of promoting sustainability, enhancing public spaces, and improving the overall quality of life of its residents,” Flor said. 

Benitez described the first car-free Sunday to promote  a healthy lifestyle  as very successful. 

People of all ages joined  and he expects  more participants next  Sunday. 

Benitez said they will also find a solution to the problem of garbage collection at Lacson Street that was hampered by the road closure on car-free Sunday.* 

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