The Department of Transportation said Thursday that it would need P1.04 billion to establish a bike lane network in Metro Manila to provide commuters an alternative during the general community quarantine.
The proposed bike lanes will be 1.2 to 1.5 meters wide and will be sectioned off by permanent barriers, instead of the plastic ones used in the past. The dedicated and protected bike lanes will be located in the outermost lanes—or lanes closest to the sidewalk—of circumferential, radial, and major roads. This project would span some 644 kilometers.
The budget can come from the Bayanihan 2 bill once its is enacted, Transportation Usec. Mark Steven Pastor said. The second pandemic response law will allow the President to reallocate funds for the construction of bike lanes, he said.
“Ang atin pong direksyon talaga ngayon ay ang promosyon po ng active transport dahil maganda po ito, mababawasan ang ating sasakyan sa kalsada (Our direction really now is the promotion of active transport because it is good, the number of cars on the road will lessen.),” he told ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.
Biking will also improve the health of the public, he said. As per the request of health workers, the DOTr is planning to set up temporary bike lane networks in areas around hospitals in Manila and Quezon City, he said.
Mass transportation systems resumed operations under GCQ, but due to limited operating capacity, many commuters have turned to biking. Pastor said a bike lane network has been in the pipeline as early as 2017, with progress made last May and June along EDSA.