Who needs a “Bike Manual?” Just about everybody, as far as the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is concerned.
On Wednesday, April 21, the DOTr partnered with SM Supermalls to launch the Bike Manual to be distributed to thousands of road users in the country as part of efforts to promote active transport amid the persisting coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade led the virtual launching of the passport-sized booklet that aims to educate cyclists, motorists, pedestrians, and other road users about safety, courtesy, and etiquette while using the country’s roads.
Written on the manual are safety guidelines and pointers for cyclists such as the use of safety gears, the importance of regular bicycle inspection and maintenance, the use of hand signals, identifying blind spots to avoid crashes, how to make safe right turns, and other road/traffic protocols.
“The DOTr will continue to support the use of active transportation as a viable addition to existing modes of transportation,” Tugade said during the online event.
SM Supermalls President Steven Tan said during the launch that at least 140,000 printed copies of the manual in English and Filipino will be distributed for free at all SM Malls nationwide.
According to Tan, they have been supporting the use of active transport modes prior to their partnership with the DOTr by establishing racks and repair centers for cyclists within the premises of various SM Malls.
“Across all SM Supermalls, there are now more than 500 bike racks, and more than 80 repair stations nationwide,” Tan shared.
Based on DOTr data, a total of 296 kilometers of bike lanes have been completed with pavement markings, installed bollards, curbs, and solar studs as of this month.
Tugade added that the agency aims to complete by yearend the 535-kilometer bike lane project in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao.
“To our countrymen, help us make this project succeed. Let us make this a citizen-driven initiative,” he appealed to Filipinos.
He also called on motorcycle riders to be more mindful when traveling especially in the presence of bike lanes to ensure the safety of all road users and pedestrians.