San Juan ramps up construction of bike lanes


By Jhon Aldrin Casinas

The local government of San Juan City will be setting up pop-up bike lanes along select streets in the city now that more people use bicycles as a mode of transportation.

Mayor Francis Zamora (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN) Mayor Francis Zamora

Mayor Francis Zamora announced that the Phase 1 of the bike lanes, which will span around 4.21 kilometers (km) long, will be from N. Domingo Street to Ortigas Avenue.

He said a proposed 13.80-km expansion of the pop-up bike lanes will be set up along several streets in the city after the completion of the Phase 1.

The bike lane will pass through some major facilities and institutions in the city such as the San Juan Medical Center (SJMC), the San Juan City Hall, Greenhills Shopping Center, and near Cardinal Santos Medical

He said the pop-up bike lanes aim to protect frontliners and returning workers who use bicycles going to and from work now that more businesses and industries were allowed to resume operations.

“This is in line with the initiatives to provide our beloved people with a safe transportation option now that only 50% of public transportation will be allowed during the implementation of the General Community Quarantine (GCQ) beginning Monday,” Zamora said.

Some modes of public transport such as trains, select buses, taxis, and tricycles were initially allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity following the downgrade of quarantine measures in the National Capital Region (NCR).

San Juan City allowed last week the limited operation of tricycles after more than two months of no operation because of the strict quarantine measures.

Zamora said every tricycle can only ferry one passenger at a time. Back riding remains prohibited in compliance with the physical distancing protocols.

But the city government finds it necessary to provide more transport options to the public amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, he noted.

“In the past months, it was evident how useful bicycles are as a means of transportation in the middle of a pandemic such as COVID-19, which requires social distancing,” Zamora said.

“It does not only enable the public to observe social distancing, it also is a sustainable and environment-friendly mode of transportation that promotes an active lifestyle,” he added.

The mayor said the Phase 1 of the pop-up bike lanes will be officially launched on World Bicycle Day on Wednesday. #