As I was cycling going home last night along Marcos Highway in Marikina City, I thought of doing another blog post for today. I normally write about my two main advocacies (Firefox and biking) but this might be the first time I’m tackling them at the same time! I realized something was strikingly similar between the two as I trudged along the DPWH-manufactured bike lanes along Marcos Highway.

Marcos Highway's bike lanes, by the DPWH
Marcos Highway’s bike lanes, by the DPWH

Time and again, I have tried to patronize using this roughly three-kilometer long bikeway along the highway. Time and again, I was really disappointed because no biker in his right mind would want to needlessly subject his/her bike to a very bumpy ride, with lots of obstructions every few meters (i.e., parked cars, establishment signages, etc.). What’s worse is the transition between bike lane and street corners where Marcos Highway intersects with a handful of subdivision streets. Sure, there are on- and off-ramps, but this is where I realize the connection with my favorite browser.

I’m sure the DPWH had been allocated budget on this so they could deliver these much-needed bike lanes to the public.

The thing with the ramps is that, instead of ending up with this,

Smooth and curvy. Not to mention pleasant. That’s how bike lane ramps should be.

they copped-up with ramps that looked like this:

Steep and, well… Angular.

It has been more than two years since the Marcos Highway bike lanes have been officially opened. I know it’s a futile question but, why haven’t they introduced improvements to this? No one will use it at all if the ride isn’t comfortable. That’s why on any given day, you’d see all sorts of bikes avoiding these bike lanes — they’d rather be on the highway itself instead of the bike lane — save for a few people new to biking who are exploring the urban ride for the first time.

We need bike lanes, but more than just being available, it likewise needs to be comfortable. Just like user experience and design on your favorite web browser.