June 20, 2024

The traffic consultant of Baguio has explained last week the P50-million bicycle lane project sought to be deferred does not need a feasibility study as the works to be done involve setting up of safety measures.
Engr. Teodorico Tan, consultant of the Traffic and Transportation Management Division of the City Engineer’s Office, said the first phase of the bicycle lane project does not need a feasibility study, as it involves merely painting portions of the road for the proposed bike lanes, installation of signages, and repair of road portions.
Tan said a feasibility study is needed for the structural component of the project or when bike facilities will be installed such as areas for troubleshooting, toilets, and rest areas.
“Feasibility study is needed for the structural component because by then, you need to know how many will use the facilities to guide you in designing the structures to be built,” Tan said.
He made the clarification in response to the city council resolution that asked the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) to defer the award of the P50M bike lane project.
The council earlier sought for deferral after representatives of the CEO told them the project was bid out without undergoing a feasibility study.
Tan said the first phase of the bike lane project involves setting up safety measures.
He added that before the CEO proceeded with the bike lane project design, it has coordinated with the Department of Public Works and Highways-City District Engineering District, contrary to the claim of BCDEO officials the CEO did not coordinate with them before proceeding with the project.
Tan showed to the Courier a copy of the March 24 letter of CEO head Victorio Olpindo to BCDEO head Rene Zarate and DPWH-Cordillera Director Khadaffy Tanggol asking the agency for a copy of the design of bicycle facilities as the CEO was preparing to paint the bicycle lanes on city roads identified for the project.
In his March 26 letter, Zarate has informed Olpindo the BCDEO has not programmed or incorporated the design of bicycle facilities in their ongoing or proposed projects as they are still starting with road widening works.
Tan said because of the response, he, being the consultant, coordinated directly with the DPWH central office and asked for a copy of the updated guidelines on the design of bicycle facilities along national roads.
He said the updated guidelines were only issued on June 18 and that this was intended for a national government bike lane project worth P1.1 billion.
“The guidelines were not intended for Baguio roads, but we can use it as reference,” Tan said.
Under the updated DPWH guidelines on bicycle lanes, the roads of Baguio are good for road-sharing and not for painting of lanes exclusively for bicycles.
Tan said as designers, they are well aware that exclusive bike lanes do not apply to the roads of Baguio because of their narrow widths.
He added he has been coordinating with bikers’ groups in the city, from which he gathered the common sentiment on the need to make the roads of Baguio friendly to those who are using bikes as a mode of transportation. Baguio has around 1,000 to 1,500 biker users.
“We are trying to make the roads of Baguio safe for the bikers. There are a lot of people using bikes as a mode of transportation, but our roads are not safe for them and this is what we are trying to address in the bike lane project,” Tan said. – Jane B. Cadalig