The promotion of cycling and improved pedestrian access has resurfaced in Metro Manila in the past month. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has announced plans to create a network of bikeways and footpaths in the metropolis. Other local government units have already adopted initiatives in improving pedestrian facilities in some areas, such as Makati City which together with Ayala Land Inc. developed a network of elevated walkways and Manila City which closed some roads, such as Avenida Street, in favor of pedestrians. A comprehensive bikeway network has also been constructed in Marikina City and which is planned for expansion over the next years.
Improving bike and walk ways is expected to result in a reduction of private car use and entice private car users to shift to public transport. Reducing the use of private cars and increasing the public transport patronage will help reduce fuel consumption, alleviate traffic congestion, and improve air quality.
The objectives of the forum were to review past experiences in promoting walking and cycling in Metro Manila and to disseminate and discuss new plans to provide additional bikeways and improve pedestrian facilities in the metropolis. By bringing stakeholders together from different sectors they will be encouraged to participate and contribute to the implementation of these plans.
This forum is intended to be an initial step towards a continued dialogue between all stakeholders of non-motorized transportation.
The forum was able to successfully bring together about 80 attendees representing the public and private sectors, academe, cycling organizations, media, and other civil society organizations.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) Representative delivered the opening speech and expressed ADB’s interest in supporting and promoting sustainable urban transportation. CAI-Asia presented key examples and experience of other countries on integrating cycling and walking in urban transportation planning, which can serve as vital inputs to the planned MMDA project. The Metro Padyakan (Bike and Walk Ways) Project presentation of the MMDA focused on the technical details of the project. It showed various bike lane configurations being considered for the study.
The local experience and needs of bicycle commuters were clearly presented by the Firefly Brigade (insert website address). It showed that some technical considerations need to be integrated into the over-all Metro Padyakan project in order to enable people to comfortably commute using their bikes in Manila.
The University of the Philippines’ Bikeway Plan for implementation in January 2006 was likewise presented. This plan will be incorporated into the university’scomprehensive transportation demand management plan being developed by the National Center for Transportation Studies.
The achievements on the comprehensive pedestrianization campaign in the Makati Commercial Business District was presented by the Ayala Land Incorporated, Makati CBD’s developer. It showed that over-all the project has increased walking as a primary option in traveling within the CBD. Data showed that the elevated walkways are used by an average of 200,000 people everyday and 20,000 to 60,000 people everyday use the underpasses, depending on the location. It was interesting to note that the pedestrianization program was implemented primarily to provide alternative to people stuck in the area’s heavy traffic and improve the commercial and business image of the area. The Makati City government presented its plans to expand the pedestrianization campaign within the CBD to the rest of Makati. Makati City is developing a comprehensive plan in managing traffic and promoting public transportation in the city. (Say something about the synergy of plans of private and public sector).
The Marikina Bikeways Authority presented its experiences in the usage of the bikeways in Marikina city. To encourage residents to fully utilize the bikeways infrastructure, the city is implementing an extensive bike-to-work and bike-to-school schemes. Aside from schools and the city hall offices, there also are ongoing efforts to link it’s the city’s bikeways to public transport such as the Santolan LRT station. The World Bank presented its experience in including the Marikina Bikeways project in its Metro Manila Urban Transport Integration Project and highlighted the importance of a comprehensive plan integrating different modes of transportation.
Senator Pia Cayetano expressed her personal support to the efforts being undertaken by the forum’s participants to move the "cycling and walking" agenda forward in Metro Manila. She informed the participants of her involvement in a similar initiative in Clark Development Corporation in Pampanga to promote cycling within its compounds. She spoke about the feasibility of having bike lanes in Metro Manila and highlighted the importance of involving the community and cycling organizations in implementing these plans, and which could help augment the costs needed in its implementation. She also reiterated the health-related importance of cycling to the public.
The Firefly Brigade closed the forum with emphasis onthree key elements that should be included in the Metro Padyakan Project: (i) the importance of doing more background studies before full-scale implementation of such metro- wide projects; (ii) an education and training campaign that includes not only the bikers and pedestrians but motorists as well ; and (iii) extensive stakeholder involvement in the project’s design and implementation. Venue: Asian Development Bank HQ, Auditorium A, 1:00 - 6:00 pm
- The provision of bike racks or bike parking in malls in Makati CBD and Metro Manila. Representative of Ayala Land Inc. has committed to look into this issue in the case of Makati CBD. Firefly Brigade will likewise conduct their own mini-surveys to check which commercial establishments and buildings in Metro Manila are biker-friendly.
- The need to market bicycle commuting to the upper and middle class residents of Metro Manila was raised since these are the people who usually have cars congesting Metro Manila roads.
- The importance of including an education campaign in the Metro Padyakan project of the Metro Manila Development Authority.
- The importance of putting up small communities with bikeways such as in schools - UP and Ateneo de Manila bikeways and linking the bikeways to others in the area, inthis case Katipunan street. Such a strategy is developing ‘island’ type of bikeway developments and linking them to each development as project matures.
- The MMDA expressed their willingness to coordinate with and solicit the support of other organizations/ institutions in the project’s implementation to ensure that the project will gain the acceptance and support of different stakeholders.
- The Makati City Government Representatives are soliciting the help of development institutions and other funding agencies in developing further the city’s comprehensive transportation plan.
- The Firefly Brigade informed the participants that they will be conducting a small-scale survey on the cycling facilities, such as bike racks, in Metro Manila establishments. This information can serve as an important input to the Metro Padyakan Project of MMDA, as the need to have cycling facilities will encourage more people to use the planned bicycle lanes.
- Revising the old Philippine Traffic Law was also proposed in the forum. The current version is outdated and needs to include more provisions for cycling and pedestrianization.
- Providing financial incentives to people who commute by bicycle.
- A Makati Ordinance on impounding bicycles when in sidewalks was raised and the need to review such an ordinance should be pursued.
- The LTFRB representative raised the issue of which government agency would be involved in the monitoring and control of bicycles when the time comes that a substantial number of people are commuting by bikes.
- The Partnership for Clean Air and CAI-Asia will follow-up on the discussions and issues raised in the forum and will help convene similar activities in support of promoting bikeways and pedestrianization in the Philippines.
For more information on the presentations and documents in the forum please click on the subject links.
Download full Program details (DOC 293 kb)
(PDF 31 kb)
Principal Environmental Specialist,
Asian Development Bank
|Sustainable Urban Transportation: Integrating Cycling and Walking in Urban Transport Planning
(PDF 1730 kb)
Head, CAI-Asia Secretariat
|Metro Walk and Bike Ways Project
(PDF 1619 kb)
|Corazon Cruz, Assistant General Manager, MMDA
|Bike Commuting: Pedaling Our Way Towards Sustainable Transportation
(PDF 536 kb)
|Ramon Fernan III, Firefly Brigade
|UP Transport Plan – Promoting public transportation, cycling, and walking
(PDF 747 kb)
|Ricardo Sigua, Associate Professor, College of Engineering, University of the Philippines
|Marikina Bikeways Network
(PDF 1883 kb)
|Carlota Contreras, Bikeways Officer, Marikina City Development Authority
|Metro Manila Urban Rail Transportation Integration Project
(PDF 330 kb)
|Chris Pablo, Operations Officer, World Bank
|Makati Central Business District (MCBD) Pedestrianization and Traffic Segregation Projects
(PDF 3058 kb)
|Salvador Tan, Division Manager, Urban Regional Planning Division, Ayala Land Incorporated
|Makati Government Pedestrianization Experience and Plans
(ZIP 6.47 mb)
|Ernesto Camarillo, Transport Consultant, Makati City
Other documents distributed in the forum: