Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade met with Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) officials, led by Chairman Danny Lim, on June 11 to discuss the construction of bike lanes along EDSA. The DOTr and MMDA agreed to start construction of bike lanes on June 13.
“Our goal is to move people while making sure of their safety," said Tugade at the meeting. He, Lim, and other present officials decided to fast-track building bike lanes on the roads rather than on the sidewalks. MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim said that the bike lane would provide at least 1.5 meters of space for bikers.
This news comes just a few weeks after the MMDA threatened to fine a bikers’ group for obstruction after they set up a makeshift bike lane in Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City. Though the charges against the group were dropped, the MMDA rejected the construction of pop-up bike lanes, in favor instead of elevated lanes for bikers. MMDA traffic chief Bong Nebrija noted in a CNN Philippines report that while "proposal for a bike lane has been there in the pipe line" for some time now, logistically speaking, they cannot be a permanent fixture.
However, the DOTr has promoted the use of non-motorized vehicles while the MMDA has also allowed them on major thoroughfares in the Metro. With more and more NCR residents heading back to work amidst the general community quarantine, biking has become a common alternative for commuters as both public transportation and ride-sharing apps have become less accessible and potentially harmful as they can disrupt physical distancing protocols.
With the increase of bikers in the Metro, local government units in Pasig, Taguig, and San Juan have all set up pop-up bike lanes to accommodate their residents.