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VERA FILES FACT SHEET: What happens now to the EDSA bicycle lane?

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority is standing by its proposal for a shared bike lane on EDSA despite objections from bicycle and motorcycle groups.

Sep 13, 2023

VERA Files

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Despite strong objections from representatives of bicyclists and motorcyclists , the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is standing by its proposal for a shared lane on EDSA as part of a strategy to ease heavy traffic along the thoroughfare.

MMDA Chair Romando Artes said the agency is studying options for the existing lane that is exclusively for bicycles. However, he said it is a project of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) that has the final say on what to do with it. The MMDA will only submit its recommendations.

Here is MMDA’s developing stance on the exclusive bicycle lane on EDSA amid a pushback from stakeholders, including the imposition of fines for those who encroach into it:

BACKSTORY

During the Aug. 29 stakeholders’ meeting, representatives from motorcyclists and bicyclists opposed the MMDA proposal, citing safety concerns for road users.

Transport economist Robert Siy Jr. of Move As One explained that the government has to find a way to protect the cyclists.

He said: “The same principle applies with the bike lane. We need to have a bike lane there so that when a cyclist needs to use it, he will be or she will be protected and feel safe.”

“We cannot put out ‘yung aming right because of volume sa dami ng motorsiklo sa bansa para agawin ‘yung lane ng ating mga siklista. May halaga din ho ‘yung buhay nila so one life sacrificed is one too many already,” said Jobert Bolanos, head of Motorcycle Rights Organization.

Both Siy and Bolanos  called on the government to reevaluate its road sharing priorities to safely accommodate all road users.

“We also need to look at better use of our road space. Today, we know most of our road space is occupied by four-wheeled motor vehicles. The vast majority of all [of] us are non-car owners and we depend on public transport, motorcycles, bicycles or walking to get around. This is our appeal also to MMDA,” added Siy.

VERA Files Fact Check reached out to MMDA to ask when the study on the shared lane will be completed. MMDA’s Public Concerns and Response Management Unit replied on Sept. 8 that there is no decision yet on when the study will be concluded and they’ve asked stakeholders to submit position papers on the matter.

 

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Sources

MMDA Facebook Page, LIVE: PULONG BALITAAN NG MMDA UKOL SA RESULTA NG ISINAGAWANG STAKEHOLDERS’ MEETING NA MAY KINALAMAN SA EDSA BIKE LANE, Aug. 29, 2023

UP Law, JMO No. 2020-0001, Aug. 19, 2020

Timeline of statements

Move As One, Official Website, Accessed Sept. 6, 2023

Move As One, Robert Siy Jr., Accessed Sept. 6, 2023

 

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

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