DOTr aims to nearly double bike lanes nationwide by year-end

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 21) - The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is targeting to nearly double the country's bike lanes by the end of 2021.

Transportation Assistant Secretary Steve Pastor said their target number in terms of overall length is at 535 kilometers, from the present 296 kilometers.

Pastor added the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Bayanihan 2) allotted ₱1.1 billion for the building of bike lanes.

"Itong Bayanihan 2 bike lanes po natin [These Bayanihan 2 bike lanes are] really focused on the immediate establishment of bike lane infrastructure for the country particularly in metropolitan areas," Pastor said during the launch of the government's Active Transport Manual Wednesday morning.

Under the budget, ₱800 million will be used to construct over 338 kilometers of bike lanes in Metro Manila while ₱150 million will fund the planned 140 kilometers of bike lanes in Metro Cebu.

The same amount goes for Metro Davao's proposed 43-kilometer bike lanes.

Pastor said these will be created from feasibility study results and recommendations from national and local governments.

The DOTr reported last March that only less than a fifth of bike lanes, separators, and markings have been built so far.

The assistant secretary explained the bike lanes are necessary since more Filipinos are using them going to work.

"Kailangang mabigyan po agad-agad ng safe and secure na bike lanes po ang ating cyclists lalong lalo na po ngayong pandemya," Pastor added.

[Translation: We need to immediately provide our cyclists safe and secure bike lanes, especially during this pandemic.]

Transportation Secretary Art Tugade, meanwhile, said more bike lanes mean less bicycle-related accidents.

In Metro Manila, the number went up over 48% in 2020 compared to the previous year according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

The figure is the biggest jump since the MMDA started compiling data in 2009.

Tugade appealed to the public to read and understand the active transport manual for everyone's safety.

The bikers' manual contains details that will ensure biker safety, including road safety, courtesy, and etiquette.

SM Supermalls will release 140,000 copies nationwide for free.