Author – Keboy Espina
A limited-access expressway for bicycles and pedestrians, utilizing the banks of the Marikina and Pasig Rivers, and providing direct, unimpeded access from QC, Marikina, Pasig or Pateros to Makati or Manila.
1. It will be completely safe for Bikers
- Those from QC, Marikina or Pasig need not worry about how to get all the way to Makati. Just get yourself to the river, and you’ll be safe.
- Bikers and pedestrians will be totally separated and protected from other motorized vehicles.
- There will be no intersections or traffic lights to slow you down. The expressway will be non-stop, and naturally grade-separated from other roads.
- In the event of strong rains and flooding, no one will be allowed to enter. The expressway will be designed to be easily cleaned after a flood.
2. You won't even need a bike to use it
- Those with bikes can enter at the nearest node, pedal safely all the way to their destination.
- Those without bikes can enter the expressway, rent a bike, then leave the bike at the destination.
- During morning rush hour, the dedicated FAST LANE will go towards Makati, while in the evening, it will go towards QC.
However, there will always be slow lanes on the side for those walking or taking their time.
3. It will help alleviate traffic
- It will translate to less cars on the road, since employees may opt to bike to work.
- Greater mobility will be ensured by providing connections to these mass transit lines and major roads to get to further destinations:
- Trains – LRT-2 at Santolan Pasig, MRT-3 at EDSA Guadalupe, PNR at Pandacan, LRT-1 at Carriedo
- Major Roads – Sumulong Hway, Marcos Hway, Ortigas Ave, C-5 Hway, JP Rizal Ave, EDSA, Quirino Ave, Quezon Blvd, Roxas Blvd.
- It should also be complemented by new bus/BRT systems at Ortigas, BGC, Makati, Sta. Mesa and Intramuros.
4. It will be enjoyed by everyone
- Businessmen and employees can get to and from work.
Laborers can save by renting bikes to get to their different sites and offices.
Students can bike to university belt in Manila, or to other schools by the river.
Housewives and seniors can do their morning exercises within the numerous pocket parks. Kids can bring their pets.
Tourists can use it to explore the city.
Plus, everyone will have a free daily work-out in the process!
- Families can patronize it on holidays or weekends. Imaging telling your kids, “This Sunday, lets go to the river and bike to Malacañand, Arroceros Park, Plaza Lawtin, Escolta, Binondo, and Intramuros!”
5. Users will enjoy complete amenities
- There will be trees, benches, picnic grouds, playgrounds, outdoor gyms, and pocket parks. There will also be coffee shops with clean toilets, and various food, beverage and retail stalls.
- Adequate lighting and CCTV cameras will be provided. Alarms will warn us of impending floods from the river.
- Police and medical personnel will be deployed at strategically-located booths and stations.
- Standard wayfinding signage will guide new users and tourists.
6. It will improve real estate in MM
- The river will no longer be the backside of the cities. Establishments will prefer to face the river.
- Commercial estates such as Riverbanks, Eastwood, Circulo Verde, The Grove, and Rockwell can now become, gateways to their respective districts. Ayala’s Circuit will become the gateway from the expressway to Makati CBD.
- Huge industrial lots along the river can now be converted to higher-value commercial.
- It will change the way people look for homes. Bikers who work in Makati won’t mind living as far as QC, Pasig and Marikina – as long as they’re near the river!
7. It will open up economic opportunities
- We will see the proliferation of carparks, coffee shops, newspaper booths, food and beverage stalls, shower and locker facilities, bus, jeepney and tricycle terminals, bike parts and repairs, fashion and accessory shops.
- Bike rental facilities will abound. Single bikes, tandem bikes, sidecar bikes will all be available for different types of users.
8. It will foster a sense of community
- Bikers and pedestrians will maintain cleanliness by not littering on the expressway. Shopkeepers and volunteers will clean the expressway throughout the day.
- People will create Facebook pages, Twitter accounts, hashtags and Viber groups to recount their good and bad experiences on the expressway.
- Concerned citizens will share viral photos and videos to report intruders, criminals, vagrants, smokers, litterbugs, polluters on the expressway or the river.
- Metro Manila citizens will get to know their river intimately once more.
9. It will improve peoples' health
- Bikers and walkers can get their free cardiovascular work-outs everyday, all while doing their morning commute.
- The expressway will contribute to cleaner air in the metropolis. Each biker on the expressway could represent one motor vehicle off the streets, this translating to less fossil fuels consumed and less pollution
- No smoking and no littering will be observed at all times within the expressway!
10. It will be viable as a project
- The developers will lease the easements from DPWH or the local government. They will then build the expressway – carriageways, fence, gates, pocket parks and various amenities.
- Use if the highway could be subject to a minimal entry fee. Investment can likewise be recovered thru land and building leases (eg. retail kiosks, assembly areas), and various advertising opportunities (billboards, banners and video walls).
- Designated areas within the expressway could also be rented for major events such as races, marathons, company outings, and the like.