Legarda pushes ‘Safe Pathways’ bill in Lower House

Published February 16, 2021, 2:01 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

House Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda has joined the call for the establishment of a safe network of bicycle lanes and walkways in the country.

Rep. Loren Legarda (FACEBOOK / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The Antique representative filed on Monday House Bill No. 8688 or her proposed “Safe Pathways Network Act”, which seeks to promote sustainable mobility by constructing a network of bicycle lanes and pathways that would connect cyclists and pedestrians to essential destinations such as work, school, medical facilities, and markets.

A similar measure was already passed by the Senate on third and final reading last February 1. Three bills containing the proposal have so far been filed in the House of Representatives.

“Cycling and walking are essential modes of transportation as we transition to the better normal. The need to observe social distancing as part of our health and safety protocols is reshaping the transportation landscape and many have resorted to alternative modes of transportation to adjust to the current situation, such as cycling, walking and the use of micromobility devices,” Legarda said.

“We already have existing bike lanes and pathways, but these are not enough and not properly utilized.  There have been numerous  cases of bicycle deaths and injuries due to traffic accidents,” she added.

In filing the bill, the lawmaker said the bicycle lanes and emergency pathways would also benefit frontliners and essential workers who have been affected by the transportation and mobility restrictions due to the pandemic.

She said the bill, when passed into law, will also require local government units to designate “slow” streets, where speed limits and access to motorized vehicles on on certain days or hours will be imposed. 

“This will address overcrowding and provide cyclists and pedestrians safer access to essential services,” the former senator stated.”Sustainable mobility has both economic and environmental benefits that we have to recognize. While it gives our workers access to convenient transportation without impeding their workflow and schedule, it also gives environmental and health benefits by promoting health consciousness through a culture of walking and cycling and protecting the environment by subscribing to low-emission modes of transport,” Legarda also noted.

 
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