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EDSA special lane plan car-centric, anti-cyclist

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The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) proposal to put up a meter-wide bike lane along EDSA is anti-pedestrian, anti-cyclist, and car-centric, biking advocates and cyclist groups said Thursday.

Mobility Coalition, in a statement, said the MMDA bike lane proposal only prioritizes cars over other road users that have no other option but to walk or cycle to work due to limited public transport under strict quarantine measures in Metro Manila.

“In the face of emergency affecting Filipinos, the MMDA clings to the status quo. The vast majority of those who depend on public transport, walking and cycling, are not offered more road space even though this measure will save lives and prevent injuries,” the group said.

“Instead, the MMDA protects road space for those in the minority who are already privileged to have the means to travel safely in isolation,” it added.

Citing international norms, the group also said the MMDA proposal reveals the agency’s “ignorance” of bike lane design standards that would put cyclists in danger.

It particularly noted that The Netherlands Design Manual for Bicycle Traffic requires a bike lane width of two meters while the Indonesian Public Works bike lane standard is 1.5 to 1.75 meters.

In a public forum, MMDA spokesman and Assistant Secretary Celine Pialago said the agency is only now waiting for the budget from the Department of Transportation to start the bike lanes that will be placed on the rightmost side of the road, elevated to the same height of the sidewalk.

The MMDA previously clashed with a bicycle group after it set up pop-up lanes without prior permission along the southbound lane of Commonwealth Avenue.

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