Government wants bike routes in Google Maps


By Lorenz S. Marasigan


The Department of Transportation (DOTr) is boosting its active transport initiatives by asking Google to include bike lane routes in its map mobile application.

According to Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, adding bike routes in Google Maps will provide Filipino cyclists better navigation for their daily routes.

“This will be a very good innovation for Google Maps considering that many Filipinos now are riding bikes as their main mode of transportation which brings significant health and environmental benefits especially amid the pandemic,” said Tugade.

The agency is now in talks with Google for this initiative.

Tugade said the DOTr is waiting for Google’s approval but he “feels confident that the tech giant will most likely pursue the department’s request as it is a supporter of active transport.”

“We have asked Google to consider this suggestion top priority considering the increasing number of Filipino cyclists. We are confident that we can win their support on this,” said Tugade.

Due to the pandemic, the agency has been promoting active transport since 2020. It developed a network of bike lanes across the Philippines, spanning 500 kilometers.

Bike lanes have pavement markings, physical separators, solar-powered road studs, thermoplastic paints, road signages, and bike racks.

The project was funded under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act.

The DOTr and the Department of Public Works and Highways formally inaugurated in July the country’s longest bike lane network–the Metro Manila Bike Lane Network–for dedicated, safe and quality bike lanes for all cyclists.

The bike lane network in Metro Manila has an overall length of 313 kilometers and cuts through 12 cities: Pasig, Marikina, Quezon City, Caloocan, Manila, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Makati, Pasay, Las Piñas, Parañaque, and Taguig. The lanes also measure between 1.5 to 3 meters in width depending on the road’s configuration.

The Metro Manila Bike Lane Network forms part of the completed 497 kilometers of bike lanes created in Metro Cebu and in Metro Davao.

The transportation chief said the Metro Manila bike lanes use concrete delineators and flexible rubber bollards to separate the bikers from motor vehicles.

The bike lanes also make use of white and green pavement markings using thermoplastic paint, bollards bolted to the ground, bike symbols and signages, solar-powered road studs, and bike racks.

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