The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is seeking a budget allocation for the construction of the Metro Manila-wide bicycle lane project it proposed to improve mobility amid public transport limitations under the "new normal."
"In accordance with the Metro Manila-wide bike lane network, tayo ay nakikipagtulungan sa ating mga congressmen and senators na sana ay mabigyan ito ng pondo for this year through Bayanihan 2," DOTr Assistant Secretary Steve Pastor said in a virtual briefing on Wednesday.
(We are working with our congressmen and senators, and we hope to be provided with budgetary allocation for this year through the Bayanihan 2.)
According to Pastor, the cost of the bike lane network was estimated at P1.035 billion, covering 644 kilometers bike lane infrastructure stretching across Circumferential, Radial, and other major roads in the capital region.
"For circumferential roads, this will cover C1, C2, C3, C4, EDSA line, C5, C5 extension, and C6 -- a stretch of 204.5 kilometers, while for radial roads, it will cover R1, R2, R10, R4, R5, and R9, or at least 295.22 kilometers," Pastor explained.
The DOTr official added that the proposed bike lane network will also have coverage for Ortigas, Buendia, White Plains, Estrella, Ayala, and Manggahan, which will have a total of 68 kilometers.
Protected bike lanes
Meanwhile, Pastor bared that interim bike lanes are being set up in Manila and Quezon City as requested by health workers.
"Because of the clamor of our healthcare workers and being the priority at this point, we are establishing protected bike lanes that will connect major roads, residential areas, and high-volume commuter areas to major medical facilities," Pastor said.
"This was as requested by medical workers so that they have access to their work and home through bikes," he added.
The interim bike lane network coverage for Manila is now being constructed, Pastor said, covering the routes of Taft Avenue, Quirino Avenue, Roxas Boulevard, United Nations Avenue.
This lane will serve medical facilities in the city particularly Philippine General Hospital, Manila Doctors Hospital, Manila Medical Center, and the Ospital ng Maynila.
Interim bike lanes are also being set up for medical workers, as well as for the public in Quezon City that will follow the routes of V. Luna to East Avenue; Elliptical Road to Araneta Avenue via Quezon Avenue; and Commonwealth Avenue to Elliptical Road.
Upon completion, Quezon City's interim bike lane network will service the Philippine Children's Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine Heart Center, Veterans Memorial Medical Center, and East Avenue Medical Center.
"As of Tuesday, our target date of completion of these interim bike lanes is on August 26, next week, and the DOTr is really closely working with the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to fast track its construction," Pastor emphasized.
While for the EDSA bike lanes, he said that the materials needed for the project are now being processed and will be delivered to the MMDA "at the soonest possible time" for construction.