MANILA—The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will be incorporating bike and pedestrian lanes in the construction of the 10.7-km Laguna Lake Highway, which formerly known as C-6 Dike Road.
DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, who led the opening of the two new lanes or the first phase of the project amounting to PHP1.2 billion on Thursday said that it is the first highway in the country that will have bike lanes.
“This is the first highway in the Philippines to have bike lanes, 3 meters. We are planning to replicate it nationwide. The Duterte Administration is fully committed in ensuring mobility of vehicles and individuals,” he said.
Villar added, “I think it is important that we make an infrastructure hindi lang para sa kotse, para din sa pedestrian. This is good example. Our first project that would incorporate also the infra for pedestrian traffic.”
The newly opened lanes are from Napindan to M. L. Quezon section in Taguig City.
The DPWH chief noted that travelers between Rizal and Makati/Taguig would benefit the most from improvements of the road capacity as well as travel speeds along the Laguna Lake Highway.
“With this highway, the traffic from EDSA and C5 will be greatly reduced”, added Villar.
The project covers the construction or widening of two bridges, rehabilitation or concreting of existing asphalt road (10.28 kms) with provision of additional two lanes, including construction of wide planting strips, bike lane, and sidewalk.
For his part, DPWH-National Capital Region (NCR) Director Melvin Navarro noted that incorporating bike lane in building bridges are being planned, as for the Laguna Lake Highway it could be considered as an attraction since it is near a lake.
“(Building bike lanes) That is part of the consideration in all our new structures mga bridges, we are doing a highway in Bacolod that would incorporate bike lanes,” he said.
“For two reasons, for pedestrian. For our environment. To give people optional pwede mag bike. Especially in this area katabi ng lake. So pwede maging attraction ‘yung highway,” Navarro added.
The DPWH-NCR head said building bridges with bike lanes is also acceptable to other cities in the country.
“Most major cities they are open to that movement. Kasi hindi naman lahat may kotse. Yun iba kung gusto mag lakad, mag bike infra na makakatulong sa mga pedestrian, encourage sa healthy living, exercise. That is also being encouraged, that is also improving the quality of life,” Navarro added.
He noted that they will be coordinating with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in identifying areas in the NCR where they put up bike lanes.
“We would coordinate with the MMDA, we are idetifiying areas na maganda para sa bike lane,” Navarro said.
Upon completion, the project would reduce travel time from Taytay in Rizal to Bicutan in Taguig by about 50 percent.