MMDA’s plan to remove EDSA bike lanes criticized

PHILIPPINE STAR/ MIGUEL DE GUZMAN

TRANSPORT advocates criticized the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for its latest proposal to remove bike lanes along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) to ease traffic congestion, calling it a piece-meal solution to a larger problem.

Ira F. Cruz, director of AltMobility PH, described the move as “another piecemeal solution,” citing a previous consensus from last year where both bike and motorcycle groups opposed shared lanes due to safety concerns.

Early this week, acting MMDA Chairman Romando S. Artes suggested reallocating bike lanes to accommodate more motorcycles, given that there are only 1,500 bikers versus over 170,000 motorcycles using EDSA daily.

However, Mr. Cruz contested this, citing a 2023 study that 7,000 daily bikers roll along EDSA during peak hours.

Transport expert Rene S. Santiago agreed with Mr. Cruz’s view, saying 7,000 bikers seemed low, but also saw the need for separate bike paths away from high-speed vehicles.

Director for Urban Development of the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities Maria Golda P. Hilario criticized the MMDA’s stance as well, noting that it undermines efforts toward inclusive road infrastructure.

“Pitting motorcycle users against cyclists is a counterproductive approach to addressing the worsening traffic congestion in EDSA. Motorcyclists do need a dedicated lane, but it should not be at the expense of cyclists and pedestrians,” she said.

Ms. Hilario urged the MMDA to adhere to the National Transport Policy, warning against regressive policies that could hinder access to cleaner transport options for Filipinos. — Chloe Mari A. Hufana