BACOLOD City District Engineer Abraham Villareal of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Friday, January 11, 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 Friday 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 signage 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 Multi-Task 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 sari-sari store.