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EDSA bike lane work starts today

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The construction of bicycle lanes along EDSA will start today following calls from a growing number of cyclists in Metro Manila, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) announced.

In a Facebook post on Friday, the DoTr said Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade sealed an agreement with Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Danny Lim to fast-track the construction of bicycle lanes along the major thoroughfare during their meeting on Thursday.

Lim said the bicycle lanes will be set up on existing lanes on EDSA — and not on sidewalks — and will provide at least 1.5 meters of space for bikers, according to the post.

The joint project between the government agencies will be done in two phases — interim and long-term — and was decided on after the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases encouraged the use of bicycles as the primary mode of transport.

“Our goal is to move people while making sure of their safety,” Tugade said.

The MMDA recently drew flak for its proposal to put up a one-meter width bike lane along EDSA, which was seen by cycling groups and advocates as “anti-pedestrian, anti-cyclist, and car-centric.”

The groups argued that those who have no option but to walk or cycle to work due to limited public transport under strict quarantine measures in Metro Manila should be given more road space than car owners who are “privileged to have the means to travel safely in isolation.”

The MMDA previously clashed with a bicycle group after the latter set up pop-up lanes without first seeking permission along the southbound lane of Commonwealth Avenue. It has initially planned to file charges against the group.

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