P45M spent for bike lanes

Sun Star Bacolod - - Topstories - BY MERLINDA A. PEDROSA

BA­COLOD City Dis­trict En­gi­neer Abra­ham Vil­lareal of the De­part­ment of Pub­lic Works and High­ways (DPWH) yes­ter­day clar­i­fied that the DPWH uti­lized about P60 mil­lion for road im­prove­ment pro­grams which in­clude the 60-kilo­me­ter bike lanes amount­ing to P45 mil­lion.

This, after some ne­ti­zens crit­i­cized on so­cial me­dia the city’s bike lanes. It was also com­pared to that of Iloilo City.

Vil­lareal said yes­ter­day the painted bike lanes were im­ple­mented in 2017 along the Cir­cum­fer­en­tial Road, north and south Cir­cum­fer­en­tial Roads, Abua­nan Road and Ba­colod San Car­los Road.

“We have painted bike lanes in both sides of the roads and cou­pled with many road signs,” he said.

En­gi­neer Fer­di­nand Ma­gada, chief of Con­struc­tion Sec­tion of DPWH, said for the paint­ing of bike lanes, they spent about P45 mil­lion in the ar­eas of Ba­colod Cir­cum­fer­en­tial Road, north and south Cir­cum­fer­en­tial Roads, Abua­nan Road and Ba­colod San Car­los Road.

Vil­lareal ex­plained that it also part of the bud­get the im­ple­men­ta­tion of road sig­nages like reg­u­la­tory signs, traf­fic in­struc­tion signs, in­for­ma­tion signs, mo­bi­liza­tion, project bill­boards, con­struc­tion safety net among oth­ers.

He said the pub­lic should not com­pare the city’s bike lanes to Iloilo bike lanes be­cause it needs a big bud­get like the costs of the road right of way or road widen­ing.

“If we build bike lanes like Iloilo City, we need big bud­get on that. We have the on­go­ing con­struc­tion of Ba­colod Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal Eco­nomic High­way and it also in­cludes a bike and jog­ging lanes,” he said.

He added there’s no need to con­struct ad­di­tional bike lanes here be­cause it needs more space or the road right of way.

Mean­while, the Mul­ti­task Force Anti-ob­struc­tion com­posed of DPWH, High­way Pa­trol Group, Land Trans­porta­tion Of­fice, Ba­colod Traf­fic Au­thor­ity Of­fice, and City Le­gal

Of­fice was also con­duct­ing joint clear­ing op­er­a­tions for ob­struc­tions in var­i­ous ar­eas of Ba­colod.

On Jan­uary 7, the task force in­spected the area of Bur­gos Street and they also warned the own­ers of il­le­gally parked ve­hi­cles.

Vil­lareal said they will re­move the il­le­gal struc­tures along the na­tional high­way as well as ar­rest the erring driv­ers who are oc­cu­py­ing the bike lanes.

“We will con­tinue this op­er­a­tion to en­sure the smooth flow of traf­fic in Ba­colod,” he said.

The City Coun­cil ear­lier re­ceived com­plaints that the bike lanes are be­ing used as a park­ing area or a saris­ari store.*


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