DAVAO CITY – The Department of Public Works and Highways is planning to construct separate and safer bicycle lanes along the major thoroughfares of this city that is estimated to be worth P145 million.
DPWH Davao spokesperson Dean Ortiz said the latest project, which is a convergence project with the Department of Transportation, will have its own infrastructure separate from existing demarcated bike lanes along the city’s roads.
The proposed bike lanes, which will still be up for discussion with the city government, will have a total length of 22.786 kilometers covering major thoroughfares namely the Davao-Cotabato Road, Quimpo Boulevard, Sandawa Road, Daang Maharlika Highway, Roxas Avenue, and Quezon Boulevard.
Last year, the City Transportation and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) demarcated 72-kilometer bicycle lanes along the city.
Ortiz said the incorporating bicycle lanes is the new direction of DPWH for its future road projects for a “greener Davao” in hopes to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
“If people will opt to use bicycles, that’s more economical and environment-friendly,” he said.
Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability, Inc. (IDIS) environmental research specialist Lemuel Manalo said the group would continue to lobby for the improved safety and expansion of bicycle mobility in the city.
Citing a study conducted by IDIS using a travel movement analysis, Manalo said that there are a growing number of people riding bicycles going to the central business district for work and other errands via national highways.
Manalo hopes for a bigger budget not just for the construction of bicycle routes but also for retrofitting of old roads to provide more protected bicycle lanes such as bicycle skyways or corridors, and improvement of sidewalks or pedestrian walkways.