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

February 15, 2023 - 1:24 PM
A photo of cyclists along Ayala Avenue (makeitmakati/Facebook)

The removal of bike lanes in Makati City will be deferred to the first week of March.

Make It Makati issued this advisory on Facebook following the protest from cyclists and transport groups against the bike lanes’ scheduled removal on Wednesday, February 15.

These infrastructures along Ayala Avenue were supposed to be converted into shared lane markings or “sharrows” to accommodate more public utility vehicles (PUVs).

Cyclists and other transport groups, however, opposed this move. They pointed out that shared lanes pose more danger to all road users than safety.

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

In response to these criticisms, Make It Makati announced that the implementation of the new scheme along the avenue will be deferred to March 6 to give them “ample time” to discuss the matter.

The body said that this decision came after the biking community’s sentiments and concerns were taken into consideration.

“The Biking Community is an important part of the commuters we serve and we value their sentiments. We have noted all constructive comments regarding the conversion of Ayala Avenue bike lanes, particularly those that are related to safety,” Make It Makati said.

“We agree that the safety of all road users should be given utmost importance. As such, we will enhance measures to further protect bikers,” it added.

This update was welcomed by those who joined the #MakeItSaferMakati movement and other concerned Filipinos who previously staged a protest against the bike lane removal.

In a tweet, transport and mobility advocate Ken Abante said that they are set to have a dialogue with Make It Makati on Wednesday.

Abante also released their official statement in response to the new advisory on pausing the sharrow scheme.

“Official representatives from Ayala have also reached out to us to say that they will be deferring any changes to the Ayala Avenue Bike Lanes until they have collected feedback and engaged in a dialogue with the biking community to exchange ideas and best practices,” the statement reads.

“This includes reviewing the protected bike lane width, which had been reduced by half even before the announced effective date on February 15. Protective bollards in several sections had also been removed prior to this announced effective date,” it added.

Ayala Avenue is one of the busiest thoroughfares in Metro Manila that runs across Makati City’s central business district.

It links two other busy highways—EDSA and Buendia Avenue or Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue.