Cycling groups call for P14-B budget for projects to improve mobility

PROTECTED bike lanes in San Juan City, Metro Manila – PHILIPPINE STAR / MICHAEL VARCAS

GROUPS advocating the use of bicycles and better public transport have called on Congress to increase next year’s budget for the establishment of protected cycle paths across the country to 14 billion pesos.

In a joint statement on Sunday, celebrated as National Cycling Day in the country, the groups said the current allocation of P2 billion under the proposed spending program for 2022 is “not enough to support countless Filipinos across the country who have cycled like every day. transport during the pandemic.

They said additional funds would allow for a more equitable distribution of road space between bicycle and motor vehicle users.

The car ownership rate in the Philippines is the fifth lowest in the world, with around 47% of Filipino households not owning a private vehicle, according to market research firm Nielsen.

The groups said their proposed budget of 14 billion pesos could be allocated to several projects, including upgrading half of the existing Bayanihan cycle lanes in major urban areas of Manila, Cebu and Davao to ensure safety and accessibility.

Part of the fund could be used to establish at least 30 kilometers of protected cycle lane networks in each of the 130 cities outside of Metro Manila, while strengthening active transportation institutions by funding assistance facilities. technical.

They also called for the construction of 10,000 public bicycle racks and bicycle parking lots throughout the Philippines.

Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” M. Angara, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, did not immediately respond to a Viber message seeking comment.

“Without this investment, we will continue to be in this vicious cycle of traffic injury, death and inequitable recovery from the pandemic,” the groups said.

The joint statement was signed by Move As One Coalition, Metro Naga Active Transport Community Mobility Awards, MNL Moves, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, Pinay Bike Commuter, 350 Pilipinas, Bikes for the Philippines, Tiklop Society of the Philippines, The Firefly Brigade, Makati Business Club (MBC), MBC Business for Biking Project, Oragon Bikers, Inc., Bicycle Friendly Philippines and Life Cycles Philippines. – Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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