AS pre-pandemic activities return after easing coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) health restrictions, a lawmaker filed a measure to create a sustainable network of bicycle lanes and provide safe and convenient pathways for commuters.
According to AGRI Party-list Representative Wilbert T. Lee, this network shall connect users to essential destinations such as work, schools, and medical facilities, among others, and could be adopted permanently as a solution to congested roads, volatilities in oil prices and pollution.
“Our public transportation system, which was also crippled by the pandemic, is now hardly catering to a bigger demand of commuters and travelers. Congestion of commuters has definitely returned,” Lee observed.
“It is high time to encourage our citizens and offer them sustainable modes of travel that are not fuel-reliant. Active transportation, such as walking and biking, are some of these,” he added.
Under House Bill (HB) No. 6011 or the “Walkable and Bikeable Communities Act,” the Safe Pathways Network will be established to use “active transport.”
This shall consist of a network of bicycle lanes, walkways, and slow streets, which will provide convenient access and use of local roads.
If passed into law, local government units (LGUs) shall incorporate the creation of Safe Pathways Network and their corresponding infrastructure in their local development plans.
Through this measure, LGUs are also mandated to coordinate with public and private institutions within their jurisdiction frequented by the public, such as but not limited to healthcare facilities and institutions, schools, churches, and government offices, to establish bicycle lanes, walkways and slow streets that can connect and provide safe access for the employees, customers, and clients of such institutions as well as the general public.
The funds necessary for the implementation of this Act shall be sourced from the amounts set aside by LGUs for infrastructure projects, as well as from the appropriations of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) under the General Appropriations Act, and the Special Road Fund from the Motor Vehicle User’s Charge as provided under Republic Act No. 8794, as amended.
“Sa pagsusulong ng mga proyektong ito, mababawasan ang polusyon, trapiko, aksidente at siksikan sa biyahe. Makakatipid ang commuters at mas mapapangalagaan pa ang kanilang kalusugan. Sa tagumpay ng programang ito, Winner Tayo Lahat,” the lawmaker from Sorsogon said..