The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has recently announced its plans to build a 1 to 1.5-meter bike lane along EDSA.
The new lane will be on the rightmost side of the road, elevated to the same height of the sidewalk. In portions where a business's driveway or an obstruction on the sidewalk may make it difficult to bike, the lane will encroach into the private vehicle lane but remain elevated.
According to MMDA spokesperson, ASec. Celine Pialago, private vehicle lanes will have to be reduced from the current width of 3.5 meters to 2.8 meters to make space for the proposed bike lanes.
“Ang gusto natin sa kanila protected bike lanes, instead [na] dito sila sa kalsada at ang harang lang ay mga orange cones, concrete barriers. Unsafe po kanila ‘yun (What we want are protected bike lanes, instead of being on the road where only orange cones or concrete barriers separate the cyclists from other vehicles),” said ASec. Pialago.
The agency believes elevated bike lanes will provide better protection for cyclists. Last week, the agency clashed with a bicycle advocacy group over pop-up lanes it set up without permission along the southbound lane of Commonwealth Avenue. The MMDA has threatened to file charges against the members of the group, but has since announced they will no longer pursue the charge.
With regard to the completion of this bicycle lane, the MMDA is just waiting for the budget to implement the project. The budget will come from the Department of Transportation (DOTr). Once funding is secured, the project could be completed in just a month.
Just last week, the MMDA has begun preparing the leftmost lane of EDSA to serve as the new bus lanes.
“Yung mga bus po natin, ilalagay na sa left side. Lalagyan natin ng barrier ‘yan para at least mawala na sa bangketa ang tao at ‘yung ating loading and unloading lanes ay dedicated na talaga para hindi na sa kalsada nagsasakay at nagbababa (The buses will be on the left side. We’ll put a barrier. This is to clear up the sidewalk. There will be dedicated loading and unloading lanes so they don’t board on the street),” said MMDA General Manager, Jojo Garcia, in an interview with DZMM Teleradyo.
In doing so, it has also effectively relocated the motorcycle lane to the rightmost lane near the proposed bicycle lane, according to MMDA General Manager, Jojo Garcia.
“Sa ngayon, ineenganyo natin sila sa tabi ng bangketa (For now, we’re encouraging them [motorcycle riders] to use the lane near the sidewalk),” said MMDA GM Jojo Garcia.