Healthcare workers in Metro Manila will soon be able to bike from their homes to their places of work, and vice versa, according to an official of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
In a virtual briefing on Wednesday, Assistant Secretary for Road Transport Steve Pastor said the DOTr plans to complete several interim bicycle lanes by August 26, with a priority on connecting residential areas, other high-volume areas, and hospitals in the National Capital Region (NCR).
“Because of the clamor of our healthcare workers and being the priority at this point, we are establishing a protected bike lane that will connect major roads, residential areas, and high-volume commuter areas, to major medical facilities in Manila, (and) Quezon City,” Pastor said.
This would include an interim bicycle lane network being built along Taft Avenue, Quirino Avenue, Roxas Boulevard, and United Nations Avenue — made possible through a partnership with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), he said.
Pastor said the lane would serve the Philippine General Hospital, Manila Doctor’s Hospital, Manila Medical Center, and Ospital ng Maynila Medical Center.
In Quezon City, he said interim bicycle lanes will also be established from V. Luna to East Avenue, Elliptical Road to Araneta Avenue via Quezon Avenue, and Commonwealth Avenue to Elliptical Road.
“Ang maseserbisyuhan po nating hospitals diyan ay ang (The hospitals that we’ll be able to serve are) Philippine Children’s Hospital, Lung Center of the Philippines, Heart Center, Veteran’s, East Avenue Medical Center,” Pastor said.
As part of the Edsa rehabilitation program, he said a protected bicycle lane will also be established along Edsa.
“As we speak, pino-proseso na po ang materials na gagamitin (materials are being processed) for the project, and it will be delivered to the MMDA at the soonest possible time for construction and fabrication,” Pastor said.
These bicycle lanes, he said, would eventually form parts of a “Metro Manila-wide bike lane network” depending on whether funding would be secured from the proposed “Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.”
“Sana mabigyan po tayo ng pondo (I hope we’ll be granted funding) for this year through ‘Bayanihan 2,’ that we will cover a bike lane network coverage. Starting with circumferential, radial, and other major roads in Metro Manila,” Pastor said.
This, he said, would include circumferential roads (C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, EDSA line, C-5, C-5 Extension, and C-6) stretching a total of 204.5 kilometers both ways and radial roads (R-1, R-10, R-2, R-4, R-5 to R-9) spanning 295.55 kilometers.
“And also we have network coverage for Ortigas, Buendia, Whiteplains, Estrella, Ayala and Manggahan which will have a total of 68 kilometers,” Pastor said.
Metro Manila Greenways
In addition, he said the DOTr also plans to promote “active transport” or walking through its ‘Metro Manila Greenways’ project that would build elevated walkways along Edsa and other business districts.
“Malaking bagay po ito dahil magkakaroon talaga tayo ng active transport through walking, through elevated walkways along Edsa, and even sa Makati BGC [Bonifacio Global City] (This would be huge as we would have active transport through elevated walkways along Edsa, even at Makati, Bonifacio Global City),” Pastor said.
Currently, he said the plan is undergoing “detailed engineering design” and would include the procurement of four stations for the project. (PNA)