LOOK: Philippines gets first protected bike lane along national highway

MANILA, Philippines – Bikers passing through Laguna Lake Highway in Taguig City can now pedal worry-free, with a protected bike lane installed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

Early Thursday, February 7, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar and Taguig City officials inaugurated the 3-meter-wide bicycle lane, which is protected by a planting strip that separates bikers from vehicles.

The DPWH said this is the first protected bike lane along a Philippine national highway. It stretches 5.8 kilometers along the 6.94-kilometer highway. (READ: What happens when you build protected bike lanes in cities?)

"It is our priority to build safe roads and bridges that will also cater to bikers and pedestrians, hence the inclusion of protected bike lanes and sidewalk spaces in our new project," Villar said.

PROTECTED. Public Works Secretary Mark Villar bikes along the protected bike lane. Photo from the Department of Public Works and Highways

PROTECTED. Public Works Secretary Mark Villar bikes along the protected bike lane.

Photo from the Department of Public Works and Highways

The highway also features a 1.5-meter sidewalk on both sides, with an elevated dike to protect against flooding.

The P1.28 billion allocated for the construction of the Laguna Lake Highway included the construction of a bicycle lane, with provisions for streetlights and road safety signs.

The Laguna Lake Highway, formerly known as the C6 Dike Road, serves as an alternate route to EDSA and C5. It connects Lower Bicutan in Taguig City to Taytay, Rizal.

Research by the American Public Health Association in 2012 showed that bike-specific infrastructure can reduce risk of injury by half. Protected bike lanes make a difference even more – the risk of injury drops by 90%.

Other protected bike lanes can be found along Doña Julia Vargas Avenue in Pasig City and Senator Benigno S. Aquino Jr Avenue or Diversion Road in Iloilo City. (READ: Tour on two wheels: Seeing Iloilo City's historic sights by bike) – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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