DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 Jan) – At least P145 million will be allocated for the construction of dedicated bicycle lanes in Davao City this year.
Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)-Davao spokesperson Dean Ortiz told reporters in a teleconference that the construction of the bicycle lanes is a convergence project of the DPWH with the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
The bike lanes will have a total length of 22.786 kilometers, covering the major thoroughfares of the city, he said.
Ortiz said the government will construct separate infrastructure for the cyclists, unlike the existing bicycle lanes which are just painted demarcation lines along the roads.
But Ortiz added that the DPWH-Davao has yet to finalize the details of this project, including the design.
He said the initial routes where the bicycle lanes may be put up include Davao-Cotabato Road, Quimpo Boulevard, Sandawa Road, Daang Maharlika Highway, Roxas Avenue, and Quezon Boulevard.
The routes, however, are still subject to review, Ortiz noted.
He said the agency will coordinate with city government to finalize these routes to see if some roads are fit for bicycle lanes, particularly the routes where the High Priority Bus System (HPBS) will be initially implemented.
The City Transportation and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) demarcated 72 kilometers for bicycle lanes last year. Two-way bicycle lanes were marked along Ma-a Road, MacArthur Highway, Quimpo Boulevard, Quezon Boulevard, Quirino Avenue, F. Torres St., Cabaguio Avenue, Leon Garcia, JP Laurel Avenue, Quinones Road and R. Castillo St. One-way lanes were marked along San Pedro St., Pichon St. and Claro M. Recto Avenue.
Ortiz said incorporating bicycle lanes is the new direction of DPWH for its future road projects for a “greener Davao” in hopes to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
“If people will opt to use bicycles, that’s more economical and environment-friendly,” he said.
Lemuel Manalo, environmental research specialist at Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability, Inc. (IDIS), said the group would continue to lobby for the improved safety and expansion of bicycle mobility in the city.
Citing a study conducted by IDIS using travel movement analysis, Manalo said that there is a growing number of people riding bicycles going to the central business district for work and other errands via national highways.
Manalo hopes for a bigger budget not just for the construction of bicycle routes but also for retrofitting of old roads to provide more protected bicycle lanes such as bicycle skyways or corridors, and improvement of sidewalks or pedestrian walkways. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)