DOTr eyes completion of Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao bike lanes in June

Published June 1, 2021, 12:56 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said on Tuesday, June 1, that it will complete the construction of about 523 kilometers (km) of bike lanes in Metro Manila, Cebu and Davao within the month of June.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) creates bike lanes along major roads in the City of Manila in August, 2020, for the safety of bikers as public transport remains limited. (Jansen Romero/MANILA BULLETIN)

Asked by House transportation committee chair Samar 1st District Rep Edgar Mary Sarmiento during a hearing, DOTr Assistant Secretary Steve Pastor said they are eyeing to finish the bike lanes in Metro Cebu and Metro Davao by June 15.

For the bike lanes in Metro Manila, their target date for the completion is on June 30.

The DOTr official made the report to congressmen during the inquiry of the House committee into the supposed delay in the construction of protected bicycle lanes and other activities under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, or Bayanihan 2.

The law appropriated P1.3 billion for the development of pedestrian sidewalks and protected bike lanes, and procurement of bicycles and related equipment for bicycle sharing or lending programs.

Pastor said that of the allocation, P200 billion was set aside for the bike-sharing program that the DOTr is implementing with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) along EDSA.

As for the bike lanes, he said the department prioritized Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao since “economic activities are the highest” in these areas.

“Dito rin po pinakamarami ang gumagamit po ng [bike] ang ating mga kababayan, ng ating mga siklista bilang transportation mode (It’s also in these areas that the agency observed a high usage of bikes among our countrymen as a mode of transport),” Pastor added.

Under the plan, 338.53 km would be established in Metro Manila; 129.66 km would be established in Metro Cebu; and 54.51 would be established in Metro Davao.

During the DOTr’s presentation to the House panel, Pastor said that as of May 27, 2021, they have completed 65 percent, or 427.44 km of the 522.7-km bike lane network in the three metropolitan areas.

The bike lanes were painted while some were lined with solar studs to guide motorists and cyclists.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) also assured the lawmakers that the bike lane project will be completed before their target dates.

ACT Teachers’ Party-list Rep. France Castro, however, was not satisfied with just paint marks and appealed to the DOTr to put barricades and more safeguards for cyclists, especially those traversing highways.

Members of the House panel requested the DOTr to allow them and some bike enthusiasts to physically inspect the bicycle lanes.

The Move as One Coalition, which has been pushing for dedicated lanes for pedestrians and cyclists, welcomed the “significant progress” in the implementation of the program “but a lot a more could be done”, particularly in information dissemination and raising awareness about the bicycle lanes.