Ayala and Makati relent – Protected bike lanes are here to stay

The people have spoken, and the Nays have it! The bike lanes along Ayala Avenue in Makati are here to stay. Following the announcement of converting the lanes into sharrows, and after massive backlash, Ayala and Makati have released a statement that the protected lanes will remain and that will study various street designs to be implemented instead.

Protected bike lanes will continue to be used along Ayala Avenue

Makati Ayala Avenue Shared Bike Lane Cancelled Inline 01 Min

Photo: Make It Makati

As can be recalled, an announcement was made on Make It Makati’s Facebook page on February 10, stating that the bike lanes along Ayala Avenue will be converted into sharrows. That is a shared lane for both bicyclists and motor vehicles, specifically PUVs in the business district. The biking public wasn’t too happy about it as the announcement only afforded five days before the said conversion. And they took to the streets to make their disagreement heard.

Makati Ayala Avenue Shared Bike Lane Deferred Inline 01 Min

More than 2,000 bicyclists pedaled their way to Makati to stage their protest along Ayala Avenue. Seeing this, the local government and Ayala Land were forced to postpone the implementation of the shared bike lanes to March 6 instead. At that point, they seemed to be headstrong in keeping with their plans. They did say, though, that they have “noted all constructive comments… that are related to safety” and that they will “enhance measures to further protect bikers”.

Ultimately, they relented and in a February 24 statement, they announced the scrapping of the shared bike lanes and that they will retain the protected lanes along the busy roadway.

Makati Ayala Avenue Shared Bike Lane Deferred Main 00 A Min

According to the joint statement, “it is to everyone’s benefit that Ayala Avenue remains a safe, convenient, and inclusive transport corridor for all road users – including pedestrians, commuters, cyclists, and motorists”. In place of conversion, studies will be conducted and will look into the implementation of various street design solutions to keep bikers safe.

For now and in the foreseeable future, bollards will continue to separate bikers from motorized vehicles. The protected bike lanes will remain to be used, and Ayala Land, the Makati Business Club, and other stakeholders will continue to implement improvements to the exclusive lanes.

How’s this for some good news to start the week with, right?

Mikko Juangco
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