In line with the continuing promotion of active transport, the Department of Transportation (DOTr), in partnership with SM Supermalls, formally launched today, 21 April 2021, the DOTr-SM Bike Manual to be distributed nationwide to thousands of road users.
The Active Transport (Bike) Manual is a passport-sized booklet, which aims to educate cyclists, motorists, pedestrians, and other road users with regard to safety, courtesy, and etiquette while using the country’s roads. For the pilot launch, around 140,000 published copies in English and Filipino will be distributed for free in all SM Malls nationwide.
The biker’s manual highlights important safety guidelines and pointers for cyclists. These include the use of safety gears, regular bicycle inspection and maintenance, the use of hand signals, identifying blind spots to avoid crashes, how to make safe right turns, and road/traffic protocols.
The bike manual, along with other information campaign materials, is primarily based on the Active Transport Guidelines initiated by the DOTr. The initiative was also made possible with the support of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Health (DOH), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Move as One Coalition.
“The DOTr will continue to support the use of active transportation as a viable addition to existing modes of transportation,” DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade assured.
“Across all SM Supermalls, there are now more than 500 bike racks, and more than 80 repair stations nationwide, and now, thanks to our partnership with the DOTr, and the support of all other partners, we are here to launch the next phase of our project, which is the DOTr-SM Bike Manual,” SM Supermalls President Steven Tan said.
“The establishment of bike lanes is an ongoing effort of the DOTr and the DPWH, ever since the start of the pandemic, and the MMDA has been coordinating among agencies, local government units, and cycling advocates. The MMDA fully supports this initiative of the DOTr, in partnership with the DILG, DPWH, DOH, Move as One Coalition, and the SM Supermalls, aimed at promoting road safety, courtesy, and etiquette, not just for bikers, but for all road users,” MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos expressed.
Moreover, Secretary Tugade said the cooperation of various concerned agencies and private sector partners has resulted in the swift development of bike lane networks in the country. However, he also emphasized that the establishment of bike lane networks started in 2018 or even before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To date, a total of 296 kilometers of bike lanes has been completed with pavement markings, installed bollards, curbs, and solar studs. Before the year ends, Secretary Tugade said the project will be completed with 535 kilometers of bike lanes in Metro Manila, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao.
“To our countrymen, help us make this project succeed. Let us make this a citizen-driven initiative,” the transportation chief appealed.
“Nananawagan din ‘ho ako sa ating mga kababayang nagmamaneho ng mga de-motor na sasakyan na pairalin ang pagbibigayan sa kalsada, lalo na kung may bike lane na nakatayo sa mga ito. Gawin nating ligtas ang ating mga sarili, pati na rin ang buhay ng mga namimisikleta at pedestrian,” he added.
Aside from mitigating environmental pollution, the use of active transport such as cycling is encouraged by health authorities as an effective way to social distance and promote mental and physical wellness, especially this time of the pandemic.
“Active transport will help us move more people across our cities and municipalities safely and promote economic recovery, by reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission through a well-ventilated and physically distanced means of travel for our frontliners and essential workers,” Department of Health (DOH) Director Beverly Ho said in her message.