Environmental org invites NCR residents to push for permanent bike lanes

August 19, 2020 - 5:14 PM
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Bikers in EDSA
Biker-commuters along EDSA on this photo uploaded to Greenpeace Philippines' official Facebook page on Aug. 18, 2020. (Greenpeace Philippines/Basilio H. Sepe)

An environmental organization recently urged Metro Manila residents to join the calls for the need to permanently establish protected bike lanes in main roads on cities in the National Capital Region as people shift to bicycles for alternative transport.

Greenpeace Philippines invited Filipinos living in NCR to urge their respective mayors to make bike lanes and make them permanent for a “greener” and “more livable metropolis.”

“Protected bike lanes are just Step 1. Metro Manila citizens need more concrete solutions, more sustainable practices, and a greener, more liveable metropolis,” it said on social media.

“Metro Manila mayors, we need more room to walk, breathe, and live in the city. Bike lanes are just the start—your citizens need safer roads, greener spaces, and developments that prioritize their well-being,” the group added.

It urged Filipinos to share the post and let their leaders know about the call.

Protected bike lanes are just Step 1. Metro Manila citizens need more concrete solutions, more sustainable practices,…

Posted by Greenpeace Philippines on Monday, August 17, 2020

 

The initiative included the phrases “#BetterNormal” and “#ProtectedBikeLanesNow” in the post.

The group also released a template for Filipinos interested to join the calls. It reads:

Dear [YOUR MAYOR], please support protected bike lanes & include this in a comprehensive people-centered recovery plan. Lead the way to a #BetterNormal & sustainable, more liveable cities!

Greenpeace likewise lauded Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto for making biking “essential” in his city and for providing bike lanes and bike racks for the city’s residents.

Last April, the youngest city chief in NCR declared biking as an essential form of transportation during quarantine period. Pasig also started to install additional pop-up bike lanes, as well as bike racks.

The call of the environmental group came after it participated in the four-day “Share the Road” exercise by setting up pop-up bike lanes along the main thoroughfare of Metro Manila.

“Share the Road” in EDSA was the second wave of the initiative which was first organized at Commonwealth Avenue by Bikers United Marshalls.

LOOK: Bike groups write "#EDSAlamatSaBikeLane" and “#BetterNormal” beside the pop-up bike lane on EDSA.As the road…

Posted by Greenpeace Philippines on Tuesday, August 18, 2020

 

The initiative involved urging officials to create protected bike lanes as part of a comprehensive plan to put people at the center of urban planning.

Greenpeace Southeast Asia executive director Yeb Saño said that establishing permanent bike lanes are not just for bikers but for “everyone living and working in cities.”

“With the right planning, they could provide pedestrians and commuters with safer, wider room to move even at a busy road like EDSA,” he said on August 15.

The group said that such an initiative is an “important component” in planning a healthier and greener design for cities which account for “75% of global greenhouse gas emissions,” according to Saño.

“Imagine Metro Manila not just with bike lanes, but with more trees, more green public spaces, and more room for everyone to breathe,” he said.

“This is what we want to see when we ask for liveable cities, for a better normal beyond this pandemic,” Saño added.

Bicycles have become more popular during the community quarantine as people, especially those who needed to report for onsite work, have sought alternative means of transportation that is safer and more convenient amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A recent study of South East Asia-based meta-search website iPrice Group revealed that Filipinos searched bicycles nearly three times as much in June as compared to April.

From May to June since the previous general community quarantine, the interest in bicycles has been on a steep upward trajectory.

It also determined that road bicycles are the second most popular in the country, given the limited transportation options.

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Bikes are considered one of the safer means for those who do not own motorcycles or private vehicles, in case public transport is to be suspended based on government policies for health and safety measures.

Mark Steven Pastor, the transport department’s assistant secretary for road sector, said that they are reportedly seeking for a P1.03 billion appropriation from the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act 2 to bankroll the proposed metro-wide bike lane network and pop-up bike lines on EDSA.

Six sections of the EDSA corridor are targeted for pop-up bike lanes, namely Aurora-Santolan, Santolan-Ortigas, Ortigas-Shaw, Shaw Guadalupe, Guadalupe-Buendia and Buendia-Magallanes.