Long known for its health and environmental benefits, biking has since emerged as a choice way to commute during the recent pandemic. With bicycles becoming more widely used, SM Supermalls through SM Cares is creating bike-friendly infrastructures and facilities to give the growing number of bike commuters and enthusiasts a safe, convenient, and enjoyable experience.
The Bike-Friendly SM initiative will roll out at the 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 Hans Sy Jr., president of SM Engineering, Design, and Development, who conceptualized and spearheads the project. “It is part of a comprehensive plan to make communities where SM malls are located, more inclusive, livable, and sustainable.”
The SM Mall of Asia (MOA) is leading the way with bicycle lanes in the MOA Complex complete with bike-centric street signs. In addition, SM will enhance its bike parking capacity, install repair stations, a helmet depository, and bike supply and refreshment stations.
“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,” Sy remarks, adding: “SM hopes that this will encourage more people to take up biking as a healthy and environment-friendly mode of transportation”.
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.
Likewise, clearly visible bike-centric road signs will also be installed to provide riders and motorists with easy and orderly routing within the Complex. SM’s road signage is based on NACTO (National Association of City Transportation Officials) US Standards implemented by member cities such as Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, DC.
Here’s what cycling enthusiasts can look forward to as SM goes bike-friendly:
- Convenient, safe, and accessible bicycle parking. SM will ramp up its bike parking capacity in MOA by fifty per cent, with additional bike racks and new street-level bike parking zones steps away from mall and shop entrances.
- Bike repair stations will be placed in strategic locations to assist the pedaling public for their emergencies and maintenance. Each Repair Station is equipped with a bike stand, floor pump, and essential tools which customers can also use for free.
- A helmet depository for a worry-free, end-of-ride experience. Bikers can simply leave their helmets at no cost at the Helmet Depository located at Ocean Drive for their trips to the mall.
- Bike vendo machines carrying ride essentials such as bike tubes, lights/blinkers, bike locks, repair kits, tire patch kits, hand wipes, ponchos, gloves, and multitools. A separate vending machine for hydration and energy snacks will also be available. A Seaside Bike Kiosk offering a wider range of accessories and gear will be available for sale.
In addition to bike infrastructure, SM will spearhead information sessions on road safety, first aid, basic bike repair, and biker and motorist etiquette in partnership with biking communities.
With the Bike-Friendly SM initiative, customers can now look forward to a safe, convenient, and enjoyable riding experience. The project is also one of the highlights of SM’s Green Movement campaign promoting environment-friendly initiatives for sustainable communities.