More bike lanes in Manila mulled

Published March 20, 2019, 10:45 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Betheena Unite

Bike lanes are being mulled in Intramuros and roads along Pasig River as the Department of Public Works and Highways is looking to include bike lanes in existing and new roads in the country.

Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar (ALBERTO GARCIA / MANILA BULLETIN)
Department of Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar (ALBERTO GARCIA / MANILA BULLETIN)

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar recently bared that department “is looking forward to incorporating bike lanes and sidewalks in existing roads as well as in new road projects.”

The secretary noted that he is also looking forward to putting bike lanes in Intramuros in Manila and roads along Pasig River.

The department, he said, wants to give emphasis on pedestrian infrastructure, wherein, when applicable, bike lanes will be included especially in new road projects, citing the newly-opened Laguna Lake Highway, which has two separate lanes on a 5.58-kilometer lane intended for bikes only.

He also emphasized incorporating bike lanes along Bacolod Negros Occidental Economic Highway (BANOCEH), which is one of the high-impact projects under the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program of the government.

Bike-friendly city

In Western Visayas, the first bike lane was constructed along with the widening of Sen. Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Avenue in 2013, making Iloilo City as the “Most Bike-Friendly City” in the whole country.

Bike lanes are also provided along with some sections of the Iloilo Circumferential Road. Some existing roads in the city also have bike lanes promoting city dwellers to use bikes in traveling around the city to help decongest traffic and pollution.

Iloilo City was hailed as the “Most Bike-Friendly City” in the Philippines during the Phil-Bike Awards 2018 for practicing sustainable bike programs, supporting the biking community and promoting environmental awareness.

The award was given based on the consistency and continuous promotion of the biking community for the observance of the Republic Act No. 8749, otherwise known as the Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999.

Road sharing

According to Villar, the government is promoting “road sharing” along national roads, as provided in Section 9 of the Executive Order No. 774, series of 2008 which aims to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.

The DPWH and the Department of Transportation were directed to transform roads, giving favor to non-motorized locomotion and collective transportation system like walking and bicycling.