QUEZON CITY, April 25, 2024 – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced in an interview on Tuesday the possibility of removing bicycle lanes along EDSA, as the agency explores the potential establishment of exclusive motorcycle lanes in the highway through a study with the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

While it is still being evaluated, MMDA Chairman Romando Artes argued that bicycle lanes in EDSA are underutilized, with an estimated 1,500 cyclists passing through daily compared to a total of 170,000 motorcycles on the highway every day. 

The MMDA, through its Bike Lane Program Office, conducted a year-long bike count in 2022, recording over 1.7 million bicycle trips in only three key areas in Ortigas Avenue, Quirino Highway, and Commonwealth Avenue, within a mere four-hour window. In the Ortigas Avenue and EDSA intersection, the highest count was in April 2022, where 58,898 cyclists were recorded. In contrast, four-wheel and motorcycles are counted on the highway for 24 hours everyday. 

In response, Maria Golda Hilario, Director for Urban Development of the Manila-based think tank Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) said.

“The country’s public transportation system must prioritize the safe and efficient movement of people. Removing bicycle lanes along EDSA at this point, contradicts the intent and provisions of Section 24 of the country’s National Transport Policy (NTP), which aims to promote sustainable and inclusive mobility. We remind the MMDA and all concerned government agencies to adhere and implement the NTP, and once and for all, come up with a comprehensive and integrated land use and transport plan for Metro Manila. 

“MMDA’s recent pronouncement clearly shows that we are taking three steps back in making our roads inclusive to meet the mobility needs of all Filipinos. MMDA was already on the right track, with the establishment of bicycle lanes and the conduct of regular bicycle counts in the past years. 

“MMDA’s published bicycle count data in 2022 showed over 58,000 cyclists in one key intersection in EDSA in just four hours for a month, indicating that the figure is clearly an undercount. Bicycle counts conducted in only four hours per day should not be directly compared to car and motorcycle figures that are counted 24 hours a day. Adhering to the NTP, the MMDA should expand their count and constantly update the public on the number of bicycle users, micromobility users, and pedestrians who use bicycle lanes as a safer buffer against fast moving vehicles along EDSA. Active modes of mobility should be a key component of transport plans and strategies in Metro Manila. 

“Pitting motorcycle users against cyclists is a counterproductive approach to addressing the worsening traffic congestion in EDSA. Motorcyclists do need a dedicated lane, but it should not be at the expense of cyclists and pedestrians. The main culprit of heavy traffic is the increasing volume of private cars occupying more road space, which must be comprehensively addressed. 

“Making the public transport systems and mass transit infrastructure in Metro Manila interconnected, accessible, comfortable, reliable and efficient is the best and most strategic solution to moving more people and reducing traffic congestion. This, in turn, will allow commuters not to rely on cars as the only transport option. We do not want a scenario where cyclists currently traversing through EDSA will resort to private cars in the future, which will add further to issues on heavy traffic.

“Now, we urge the MMDA to not make a U-turn from their progress; doing so will deprive thousands of hardworking Filipinos with safe access that would allow them to use a cleaner, and more energy efficient mode of transport such as bicycles. We continue to challenge the MMDA, city executives, and transport leaders: walk and cycle the talk on inclusive and sustainable transportation.”


The Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities is a Philippine-based non-governmental organization that advances climate, energy, and low-carbon solutions to enable fair and climate-resilient development at the national and international levels.


Ira Guerrero, ICSC: media@icsc.ngo, +63 917 149 5649, +63 968 886 3466