Bill creating ‘safe pathways’ for pedestrians, cyclists gets final Senate nod
MANILA, Philippines — The Senate has approved on third and final reading a measure seeking the establishment of “safe pathways” for those who prefer to walk, bike, or use other non-motorized vehicles to their destinations.
During Monday’s session, 23 senators voted in favor of Senate Bill No. 1582 or the proposed Safe Pathways Act. No senator voted in the negative.
If enacted into law, the bill would mandate the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), in coordination with local government units (LGUs), to identify and create a network of bicycle lanes connecting to essential destinations such as workplaces, medical facilities or groceries, schools, banks, and other similar places.
The proposed measure also requires the creation of “slow streets” to “complement the network of bicycle lanes.”
Speed limits and access of motorized vehicles in “slow streets” would be determined by the concerned LGU, according to the bill.
Meanwhile, motor vehicles of residents’ delivery and trash collection vehicles servicing the area of the slow streets and emergency services shall have access to “slow streets” subject to restrictions to be imposed by LGUs.
Under the measure, the government will also mandate public places, government offices, schools, places of work, and commercial establishments like malls, banks, and hospitals to provide adequate parking spaces for bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles.
“This is good news to the biking community, which has grown significantly during this time of COVID. More people are now using a bicycle to go to work and in their daily travels,” said Senator Pia Cayetano, who sponsored the bill as chairperson of the Senate Committee on Sustainable Development Goals, Innovation, and Futures Thinking.
“It is important that there is a network of bicycle lanes to ensure continuity through various localities, and the safety of bikers,” she added.
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