After the MMDA has begun the crackdown on motorcycles violating the exclusive bicycle lane along EDSA, they’re now actually looking into the possibility of having the lane shared by both motorcycles and bikes. Apparently, the said line is not being utilized enough and the agency is now looking into a possible implementation of converting it into a lane for both motorized and non-motorized two-wheelers.
Preliminary study for lane sharing between motorcycles and bicycles being conducted by MMDA
The start of this week saw the MMDA begin to apprehend motorcycles that encroach into the exclusive lane that is meant for bicycles along EDSA. In a surprising statement, the agency has declared that the said bike lane is “underutilized” and is now “conducting a preliminary study focusing on the possibility of making it a shared lane for bicycles and motorcycles”.
“The EDSA bicycle lane is underutilized. Hence, the MMDA conducted a preliminary study which will end within the week. We will have a stakeholders’ meeting on August 29 which will be attended by a group of cyclists and motorcycle riders,” said Atty. Don Artes, the agency’s Acting Chairman.
The Metro Manila Development Authority the challenges and problems that this possible lane sharing may pose, though, given the massive number of motorcycles that can be found taking EDSA on a daily basis. According to the latest data, there are 165,000 motorcycles traveling along the thoroughfare every day.
“We will consult our stakeholders before we finalize and make recommendations to the Department of Transportation (DOTr). The DOTr has the final say on the matter because the bike lane is their project,” Artes added.
There is also the possibility of the construction of an elevated walkway and bikeway spanning the stretch between Guadalupe and Cubao. This has been mentioned before, though, as the DOTr has also laid out its “master plan” to promote active transport, particularly along EDSA.
For now, the MMDA will maintain the apprehension of motorcyclists who would still violate the exclusive bicycle lane. For those who may not be aware, the existing policy governing and protecting the bicycle lane was actually implemented three years ago, so ignorance of this fact does not exempt anyone from being pulled over, ticketed, and fined. The violation will be for Disregarding Traffic Sign(s) and a PHP 1K fine will be meted as well.
“We have observed that many motorcycle riders use the bicycle lanes on EDSA since the suspension of the no contact apprehension policy. Additionally, we have been receiving complaints from the bicycle groups stating that they could not use the dedicated lane for them. For now, we will only remind the motorcycle riders not to use the EDSA bicycle lane,” Artes stressed.
What do you think about this plan? The more active apprehension and enforcement of the law against those in violation is laudable, but what of the safety of the bicyclists who will literally be “rubbing elbows” with motorcyclists should this plan be implemented? We’re thinking this will be met with a lot of resistance, especially from the bicycle groups that the MMDA Acting Chairman mentioned, but we leave it to them to find the best and safest solution.