THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation (DoTr) said it has completed nearly 500 kilometers (km) of bike lanes with accompanying signage in three metropolitan areas.

In a statement Monday, the department said it will inaugurate bike lanes in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao this month after completing pavement markings, physical separators, and road signs covering 497 km.

Completed markings and signs in Metro Manila cover 313 km and cost over P800 million. The department completed lanes covering 129 km for P150 million in Metro Cebu and 55 km for P145 million in Metro Davao.

The project budget amounts to around P1.1 billion under the Bayanihan Bike Lane Networks Project. Funding was allotted under Republic Act No. 11494 or the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, the stimulus package that recognized bicycles as an essential mode of transportation.

The DoTr in April announced it hoped to build over 535 km of bike lanes by the end of the year.

Transportation Assistant Secretary Goddes Hope O. Libiran, in a mobile message, said that the completed bike lanes represent “100% overall accomplishment” for the department. Additional bike lanes covering 32 kilometers in Metro Manila under a Department of Public Works and Highways fund will be finished this year, she added.

“We intend to provide commuters with access to faster and efficient means of mass transportation; and to open infrastructure for active transportation such as walking and cycling,” Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade said in a statement.

MNL Moves Founder Adrin O. Pelicano earlier this year said that he appreciated the effort to build bike lanes but added that he doubts the public was consulted about them, noting that the design network needs to be connected to allow for seamless travel. — Jenina P. Ibañez