Don't be surprised if you start to see more bicycle lanes being put up along roadways. That's because the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) recently announced that they plan to make these lanes a standard requirement on new roads and bridges.
Under the DPWH's Department Order No. 88, series of 2020, all future roads and bridges, including road widening projects, are required to have dedicated lanes for bicycles. These lanes should be no less than 2.44-meters wide in order to safely accommodate cyclists on the road.
“From now onwards, the design of new national roads and bridges will have a minimum width of 2.44-meter bike lane feature for one (1) direction. The desirable width of three (3) meters is set for a 2-directional separated bike lane, unless under the constrained condition which will follow the absolute minimum of 2.44 meters. This policy also covers road/bridge widening, diversion/bypass roads among others,” said Secretary Villar who has long been advocating to include bike lanes in DPWH projects,” said Mark Villar, DPWH Secretary.
All future bicycle lane projects the DPWH will be putting up will be classified as Class 1. This is a designated lane that is a protected path and is completely separated from motor-vehicles via an open space with a sidewalk. There are also Class 2 and Class 3 bicycle lanes which are essentially part of the roadway itself. The former makes use of pavement markings or physical barriers that separate the bicycle lane, while the latter is part of a roadway that can also be shared with motor-vehicles due to limited carriageway width.
Under the guidelines, the class, width, and directional criteria for the construction of new bike lanes will be established based on motor vehicle volume and operating speed, available road, shoulder, and sidewalk space, lane configuration, bicycle demand, and other possible driveway and parking conflicts.
Class 1 is recommended for moderate to high-speed roadways with high traffic volume. Meanwhile, Class 2 is meant for low-speed with low-to-moderate traffic volume. Lastly, Class 3 is recommended for roads operating with the lowest speed and traffic volume.
With the DPWH adamant in making roads safe not just for motor vehicles but for cyclists as well, it will surely make for a safer environment for both parties whenever they're out on the road.