“You have the chance to do something good. Now is not the time to hesitate”
By Nicole Ganglani | Photo from Inquirer.net
As more Filipinos ride bikes for transportation, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Department of Transportation have finally started setting up bike lanes along EDSA on Saturday, June 13.
MMDA spokesperson Celina Pialago says that MMDA will allot 1.2 meters of space for cyclists but the current road markings will only be temporary as they, together with the bike lanes, are still up for evaluation.
“We see the urgency of having bike lanes. Kailangan na magka-bike lanes since ‘yon na ang bagong mode of transportation ng mga kababayan natin,” says Pialago in a story published by CNN Philippines.
The MMDA, which advised cyclists to bike on sidewalks last May, says their final plan is to construct elevated and protected bike lanes along EDSA. However, Pialago says that this can’t be done right now because of budget issues.
“Yong initial na plano namin sana, elevated. But that will take time. Due to budget constraints, syempre may budget issues ang lahat ng proyektong may construction,” adds Pialago.
Cycling advocates speak up
Cycling Matters, a group dedicated to turning Metro Manila into a bike-friendly city, aired their concern regarding MMDA’s latest construction via Facebook on Sunday, June 14. The group stated that a “crammed” one-meter bike lane isn’t suitable and consistent enough along EDSA, clarifying that a one-meter bike lane isn’t enough to ensure cyclist safety.
“The bike lanes turn out to be wide enough in some areas but consistency in adhering to established standards and minimum safety requirements is still a concern,” says Cycling Matters in its Facebook post. “You have the chance to do something good. Now is not the time to hesitate.”
MoveAsOne coalition, an organization consisting of 130 members advocating for safe and sustainable public transportation, also voiced their concern about the one-meter bike lanes. According to a news report published by the Inquirer.net, the group says that the current bike lanes are too narrow and should be constructed away from sidewalks.
The group also advised MMDA to expand the bike lane to a minimum of two meters or even 1.5 to 1.75 meters to make sure cyclists are protected on the road.
“A lane width of only one meter is dangerous for cyclists. The Netherlands Design Manual for Bicycle Traffic requires a bike lane width of two meters, while the Indonesian Public Works standards stipulate a minimum bike lane width of 1.5 to 1.75 meters,” says MoveAsOne.
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