‘People power for bike lanes’: Plan to retain Ayala Avenue bike lanes praised

February 27, 2023 - 3:37 PM
Photo of a bicycle handle from Pixabay

There was a successful people power for protected bike lanes in Makati City.

Transport advocates and concerned groups cheered each other’s efforts after it was decided that the protected bike lanes along Ayala Avenue in Makati City will stay.

READ: ‘Complaining works’: Move to defer Ayala Avenue bike lane conversion lauded 

In a joint statement on February 24, Make It Makati, Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) and the Makati Business Club (MBC) announced their decision to retain the Ayala Avenue bike lanes via social media.

Instead of converting them into shared lanes or sharrows, they will study and implement other alternative solutions.

“Representatives of the #MakeItSaferMakati movement, Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) and the Makati Business Club’s (MBC) Business for Biking Program met last February 23 to discuss the design of the Ayala Avenue bike lanes and agreed to maintain the protected bike lanes and to jointly study and implement various street design solutions,” the statement reads.

“After a series of conversations in the past two weeks, all parties agreed that it is to everyone’s benefit that Ayala Avenue remains a safe, convenient and inclusive transport corridor for all road users—including pedestrians, commuters, cyclists and motorists,” it added.

This decision later reached the members of the #MakeItSaferMakati movement, cyclists and other concerned groups who took part in the protest against the new sharrow policy.

RELATED:  Instead of ‘sharrows’: Bike, pedestrian lanes, sidewalks other ideas for safer roads 

Move As One Coalition described this as proof of the port of collective action.

“The power that collective action and dialogue can create in two weeks! Cheers to the #MakeItSaferMakati movement!” the coalition of transport advocates said.

“Let’s continue to work together for safer streets for all,” it added.

“Glad to see that Ayala recognizes that its laudable climate and sustainability objectives can be advanced and accelerated by working with committed groups in civil society who share those same goals and can help Ayala drive progressive change,” a transport economist named Robert Siy tweeted.

“So impressed at how people came together for this. As an inexperienced cyclist, I was extremely distressed at the then-looming bike lane removal. Very grateful to everyone who put in their time, & lent their expertise, skills & resources for this movement,” a cyclist said on Twitter.

Greenpeace Philippines also congratulated the “people power” to save Ayala Avenue’s bike lanes.

The environment organization also referenced the 37th anniversary of the People Power Revolution in its post on February 25. The historical event was commemorated on that day.

“Buhay na buhay pa rin ang diwa ng Filipino na tumindig para sa kalayaan at demokrasya. Kahapon lamang, nagtagumpay ang #MakeItSaferMakati campaign pagkatapos ng nagkakaisang protesta ng mga mobility, environment, at commuter safety groups,” Greenpeace said.

“Patuloy pa nating buhayin ang People Power sa pamamagitan ng pagkakaisa at paninindigan para sa isang patas at makatarungang lipunan,” it added.

Collaboration among stakeholders

With the bike lanes in place, the ALI, the MBC and the Make It Makati stated that infrastructures will be installed to better protect cyclists from other vehicles.

“Moving forward, Ayala Avenue will continue to host a physically protected and enforced bike lane—with bollards to separate cyclists from other vehicles, road studs for better visibility, and with enforcement through the Makati Parking Authority—supported by an intensified information campaign,” they said in the statement.

Moreover, a technical working group and an open dialogue will also be established among all stakeholders. They will help implement schemes that will better improve the major thoroughfare’s transport system.

These include “further studies on the bike lane widths.”

“Moved by a common vision and commitment, the ALI, #MakeItSaferMakati, and MBC commit to making this partnership a model for collaboration between people, local government units and developers in promoting bike-and-commuter-friendly places and cities all around the Philippines,” they said.