Poe seeks funding for cycling, walking infrastructure as PH shifts to ‘new normal’
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Grace Poe has sought the inclusion of funding for walking and cycling infrastructures as the country shifts to a “new normal” amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Poe, in a statement on Wednesday, pointed to an earlier proposal from the Move as One Coalition, which urged the government to invest P110 billion for the improvement of urban mobility.
This includes a 1,600-kilometer walking and cycling infrastructures, and purchase of 100,000 bikes and 5,000 bike racks for bicycle-sharing programs in Metro Manila and other highly urbanized cities, she added.
Poe said she has already referred the proposal to the DOTr through a letter to Secretary Arthur Tugade for timely assessment and due consideration.
“Marami sa ating mga kababayan ang nagbibisikleta na para lamang makapasok sa trabaho sa gitna ng pandemya. Ang kanilang pagtitiyaga ay suklian natin ng karampatang proteksyon, the senator said.
(Many of our citizens ride bicycles just to reach their places of work. Their perseverance must be met with the necessary safeguards).
Poe issued the call following the death of a biker who fell unconscious along EDSA last Friday as government-imposed lockdowns restricted the use of public transportation.
“This is our chance to make our cities more bikeable and walkable, and thus more liveable,” she said, adding that her proposal is in line with the recommendations of the country’s COVID-19 task force to promote alternative modes of mobility.
Poe noted that she earlier authored Senate Bill No. 588, or the proposed Bicycle-Friendly Communities Act of 2019, which seeks to construct exclusive lanes for cyclists in all primary and secondary roads and provide parking spaces for bicycles in all public and private institutions.
“This is an important step in our bicycle-friendly path to inclusive growth. We should build segregated and covered bicycle lanes to ensure the safety and convenience of our riders,” she said.
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