THE establishment of dedicated, safe, and quality bike lanes is finally completed as the Department of Transportation (DOTr), together with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), formally inaugurated Tuesday (July 27, 2021), the Metro Manila Bike Lane Network – the country’s longest bike lane network to date.
The bike lane network in Metro Manila has an overall length of 313 kilometers and cuts through 12 cities: Pasig, Marikina, Quezon City, Caloocan, Manila, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Makati, Pasay, Las Piñas, Parañaque, and Taguig. The lanes also measure between 1.5 to 3 meters in width depending on the road’s configuration.
The Metro Manila Bike Lane Network forms part of the completed 497 kilometers of bike lanes created in Metro Cebu and in Metro Davao.
“Ngayon, may lugar na para sa ating mga siklista dito sa ating pangunahing kalsada. Malaking hakbang po ito nang sa ganoon ay mabago natin ang nakagawiang sistema at maitanim natin ang kultura, disiplina at kaayusan sa ating kalsada,” said DOTr Secretary Art Tugade in his message delivered by DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport and Infrastructure Mark Steven Pastor.
In his message, the transport chief clarified that no orange traffic cones were used as lane separators on the bike lanes as falsely claimed by critics of the project.
The transportation chief pointed out that the Metro Manila bike lanes use concrete delineators and flexible rubber bollards to separate the bikers from motor vehicles. The bike lanes also make use of white and green pavement markings using thermoplastic paint, bollards bolted to the ground, bike symbols and signages, solar-powered road studs, and bike racks.
Pastor added that the bike lanes maximize road space as these can accommodate 1,250 cyclists per hour for every meter of road space.
Meanwhile, the transport official also shared that other parts of Metro Manila will also have their own bike lanes soon.
“For the national government, meron pa po tayong tinatawag na South NCR bike lanes, which was recently procured by DPWH together with DOTr. Ito po ay nasa Las Piñas, Muntinlupa at Parañaque. Ang intensyon po natin dito is we will connect these three cities po dito sa existing bike lanes para interconnected po talaga at magamit ng ating mga kababayan, not only for social activities but also as a form of transportation going to and from work,” Asec. Pastor said.
For his part, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar said the bike lanes will be of great help to workers and commuters in Metro Manila who took to active transport in going to their workplaces and other destinations amid the pandemic.
“The role of public transportation is crucial to both the mobility of workers and the economic stability of the country. Born out of the resourcefulness and dedication of workers despite the pandemic, active transportation such as cycling became the obvious solution,” Sec. Villar said in his message read by DPWH-NCR Regional Director Eric Ayapana.
The creation of the bike lanes was also lauded by House Transportation Committee Chairman and Samar First District Representative Edgar Sarmiento.
“Inuna po ng Kamara ang imprastraktura at transportasyon na mapa sa susunod na 30 years na dire-diretso na po sana. Isa pong ehemplo ang bicycle lane at bus na modified lang po dahil may restrictions tayo dahil sa sitwasyon,” said Sarmiento during the inauguration.
Meanwhile, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Metro Manila Council (MMC) likewise expressed their support and commitment to the project as they cited the presence of bike lanes in the National Capital Region as a “game changer.”
“Because of this bike lane, it’s a game-changer. It will change everything – the mindset of everything. This is really a great project,” MMDA Chairman Benjamin Abalos Jr. said.
“Binabati ko ang DOTr at DPWH for a very great project na pakikinabangan po ng taumbayan for safety. Kaya magkakaroon ng encouragement at mahikayat po silang gumamit ng bike lanes,” said MMC Chairman and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez, for his part.