Starting today, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority has begun apprehending motorcycle riders who enter the bike lane, with a fine of P1,000 for the violation of disregarding traffic sign.
While bikers would rejoice at this news, we’re sure that there are others wondering why motorbikes aren’t allowed in the first place. After all, if there are more motorcycle riders than cyclists, wouldn’t it make more sense to let them use the bicycle lane—especially since they’re both on two wheels?
The answer is no, and here’s why. A motorcycle is much heavier and faster than a bicycle, so the latter is significantly more vulnerable in the event of a collision. And given the kind of riders we have, it’s not uncommon for cyclists to get harassed by them, even in the bike lane.
The bike lane is not a fast lane for motorcycles. As said in a previous article, the safety of vulnerable road users should never be compromised for the convenience of those in motor vehicles. That’s also why motorists aren’t allowed to drive on sidewalks even when there are no pedestrians around.
It’s common for people to criticize the bike lanes, especially with the limited space in the city. But if you really want to understand why they’re so important, try biking on EDSA during rush hour.
We don’t know why the MMDA took so long to start enforcing this, but it’s better late than never.