By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday called on the government to speed up the construction of bike lanes in Metro Manila’s major roads.
Drilon said he backs the move to put up bike lanes to encourage the use of alternative transport modes while restrictions on public transportation continue due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I support this move. The government should expedite this plan,” said Drilon.
“While waiting for the design and the construction to be finished which will take time, the government can install temporary bicycle lanes and immediately share the roads with the bikers. It can be done,” he added.
The senator underscored the benefits of having dedicated bike lanes especially in times of emergencies such as the coronavirus outbreak.
He cited his home city Iloilo which is known for its bicycle-friendly roads.
“We built bicycle lanes in Iloilo City and every centavo we spent in building safe bicycle lanes in the city is worth it as we saw for ourselves how a pandemic could cripple our transportation service,” Drilon said.
“In Iloilo City, these bike lanes that we built provided the commuters an alternative and a more convenient way to go to work during the pandemic,” he added.
The Department of Transportation and the Metro Manila Development Authority have recently started to lay the groundwork for the construction of bike lanes along EDSA.
The MMDA plans to temporarily provide 1.5-meter wide lanes for those who are cycling to and from their work amid the quarantine.
The government aims to build elevated and protected bike lanes that are separate from roads.