A sign that reads “All vehicles may utilize the bike lane along A. Rodriguez Ave.” circulated around social media yesterday. It’s a tarpaulin that announces that the exclusive area for cyclists on this road in Pasig can now be used by motorists during rush hour (6 am to 9 am; 5 pm to 8 pm).
During the past few days, bikers started to notice that the bollards that protected them in the busy traffic of Amang Rodriguez had been gone. People thought that it’s just up for maintenance since many motorists have destroyed many of these orange posts.
However, according to a reliable source for Pasig City Hall, the protected bike lanes are now gone.
It was pretty disappointing considering that Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto was very vocal about his support with protected bike lanes a few months ago. In fact, he tweeted last March a video of Ortigas with protected bike lanes and the caption said “Soon: Market Ave and Amang Rodriguez” with the hashtag #PermanentBikeLanes.
“Did he break his promise?” That’s one of the questions asked by a cyclist. Technically, he did not promise the protected bike lanes will be there forever, even though he used the words “permanent bike lanes” on a hashtag.
During an interview with One News that was uploaded by Pasig Transport last March 26, Sotto was proud in saying that they just opened new bike lanes in Market Avenue and that they are currently installing new ones in Amang Rodriguez.
“These are things that go beyond Covid. Nakita natin noong ECQ naging mas bukas ‘yung mga tao sa bike lanes, alternative transportation,” Sotto said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to sustain that kasi kailangan talaga eh. It might be a little inconvenient for cars kasi dati buong kalsada sa kanila, ngayon kailangan nila mag-share.”
He added, “But kailangan natin gawin ito kasi in the first place kaya naging ganito ka-traffic sa Metro Manila kasi we’re so car-centric. So we’ll keep pushing for this even if there might be resistance here and there. But we need to understand as a people that we need to push for alternative transport including bike lanes.”
And now, bike lanes in Pasig City’s Amang Rodriguez are basically non-existent during rush hours.
Hopefully, this is just temporary because the bollards that were destroyed by motorists are currently being fixed.
Oscar Nava, a resident of Manggahan, sent us a clip of this cyclist who was hit by a motorbike last December 3 while he was cycling in the middle of Amang Rodriguez. Apparently, he was out of the painted bike lane because of obstructions.
“Badly hurt ‘yung biker pero hindi nalaman ang injury kasi kailangan ng X-ray. Ayaw niya magpaX-ray kasi may trabaho pa raw siya,” Oscar told First Bike Ride.
Last year, Pasig City was hailed as the most bike-friendly city in Metro Manila by Mobility Awards. This year, the city got the silver award in the recently-concluded National Bike Day: Bike Lane Awards 2021.
Amang Rodriguez Avenue used to have protected bike lanes that kept pedestrians, residents and cyclists who use this thoroughfare safe.