Biking’s health and environmental benefits have long been established, but it was only when public transportation has been limited during the quarantine that its value was finally noted.
With bicycles now more widely used, SM Supermalls, through SM Cares, goes beyond delegating bike lanes as it creates infrastructures and facilities to provide safety and convenience to bike commuters and enthusiasts.
The Bike-Friendly SM initiative has rolled out at SM Mall of Asia this September, and across all SM malls nationwide in the coming months.
“By transforming our malls into bike-friendly establishments, we hope to support inclusive and safe mobility, and promote a culture of cycling,” says SM Engineering, Design, and Development president Hans Sy Jr., who conceptualized and spearheads the project.
According to Sy, “It is part of a comprehensive plan to make communities where SM malls are located, more inclusive, livable, and sustainable.”
Through this initiative, SM will build a connected network of bike lanes on all roads in the MOA Complex stretching up to 18 kilometers, including a dedicated bike lane along J.W. Diokno Boulevard. Future plans consist of connecting SM’s network of bicycle lanes to major roads in the metro.
MOA Complex’s bicycle lanes feature clearly visible bike-centric road signs to provide riders and motorists easy and orderly routing within the Complex. SM’s road signage is based on National Association of City Transportation Officials US Standards implemented by member cities such as Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC.
In addition, SM will enhance its bike parking capacity by 50 percent, with additional bike racks and new street-level bike parking zones steps away from mall and shop entrances.
Repair stations will be installed in strategic locations to assist the pedaling public in their emergencies and maintenance. Each station will be equipped with a bike stand, floor pump, and essential tools customers can use for free.
Bikers can leave their helmets at the helmet depository located at Ocean Drive, while riding essentials such as bike tubes, lights/blinkers, bike locks, repair kits, tire patch kits, and more are available at “bike vendo machines.” A separate vending machine for hydration and energy snacks will also be available.
“We have designed our bike facilities to be enjoyed by all members of the community across all ages and biking abilities, whether it be for utilitarian or recreational purposes,” adds Sy.
In addition to bike infrastructures, SM will spearhead information sessions on road safety, first-aid, basic bike repair, and biker and motorist etiquette in partnership with biking communities.
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