THE Department of Transportation said it broke ground on a P64.16-million Intramuros bicycle lane and pedestrian walkway project.
The groundbreaking, which took place on Tuesday in Plaza, Roma, will kick off the construction of 9.6 kilometers of bicycle lanes. The projects are categorized as Class 1 — with separate lanes for pedestrians and cyclists; Class 2 — with separate lanes for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles; and Class 3 — which are shared.
Apart from the bike lanes, the project will also include ramps for persons with disabilities and four public transport stops.
Transport Secretary Jaime J. Bautista told reporters on the sidelines of the groundbreaking event that bike lanes will be protected by bollards.
Class 1 bike lanes will rise along General Luna St., parts of Sta. Clara St., Sto. Tomas St., Postigo St., and parts of Padre Burgos Ave. Class 2 lanes will be built along parts of Muralla St., and parts of Real St., Anda St., and Victoria St. Class 3 lanes will rise between A. Soriano Ave. and Bonifacio Drive, Victoria St. and Padre Burgos Ave., and Gen. Luna St. and Palacio St.
The public transport stops will be located at Aduana Gap, Round Table and Jones Bridge-Anda Gap.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bautista said the department is looking to expand bike lanes to Regions I (Ilocos), III (Central Luzon), IV (Calabarzon), V (Bicol), VI (Western Visayas), VII (Central Visayas), and XI (Davao Region).
“This year we are looking at another 400 kilometers of bike lanes,” Mr. Bautista said.
He added that investment in active transport is called for in the Philippine Development Plan.
“Isa lang ’to sa mga projects namin. (This is only one of our projects) We are active in other transport programs. But this active transport is in compliance with the Philippine Development Plan,” he said.
Tourism Undersecretary Ferdinand C. Jumapao said active transport projects will help boost tourism.
“These bike lanes will really help. The number of tourists that go here annually is almost 2 million. And the tourists like biking because aside from it being safe, it is also a form of exercise,” Mr. Jumapao said.
The Intramuros project is due to be completed by the fourth quarter. — Justine Irish D. Tabile