Assessing the Biking Suitability in National Highways: The Case of Palayan City, Nueva Ecija, Philippines
The conundrum of the Philippines’ public transportation has been a longstanding issue. With this, the Philippine government has been moving toward more sustainable public transportation systems such as cycling. Culturally and traditionally, cycling has never been mainstreamed or fostered in the country’s public transportation system. However, bicycles were considered an alternate means of transportation in the new normal. Thus, this study assessed if biking would be suitable on national highways, particularly in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija. Several factors can influence the use of cycling, such as physical and environmental factors, level of service, and width of inner and outer lanes of national highways. In this study, considering the physical and environmental criteria, the four selected barangays (Atate, Singalat, Caimito, and Santolan) are suitable for bike lane development as they cover 0.85 to 6.0% of the total land area and are densely located on flat to 40 Danica Shine Q. Sagnip & Mark P. De Guzman gently sloping areas. These barangays are also mostly covered with cultivated area. Furthermore, as for data collected from the vehicle count survey in 2021 versus 2022, the level of service (LOS) as calculated is LOS B against all the peak hour traffic, where reasonably free flow speed is maintained. However, compared to the 2021 vehicle count survey, there is an increase in passenger car units (pcu) in 2022 as COVID-19 ends. In consideration of the road width, the outermost lane has a width of 3.05 m, which corresponds to the DPWH-prescribed minimum measurement of 2.44 m. With these results, developing bike lanes on national highways is suitable.