Better walkways, 30kph speed limit instead of 'doubling' EDSA, C5 jaywalking fines — group

James Relativo - The Philippine Star
Better walkways, 30kph speed limit instead of 'doubling' EDSA, C5 jaywalking fines � group
File photo shows pedestrians crossing the road
Philstar.com, File

MANILA, Philippines — A group of transportation advocates are currently suggesting ways to make major thoroughfares EDSA and C5 safer for pedestrians — instead of imposing more fines to the predominantly non-car owning public.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) last Friday suggested hiking jaywalking fines along EDSA and C5 from P500 to P1,000, earning the ire of various transportation advocates and commuters.

"This runs counter in the policy stated in the Philippine Develoipment Plan 2023-2028 that 'pedestrians and cyclists will be accorded highest priority in the hierarchy of road users,'" the Move As One Coalition said in Filipino in a statement yesterday.

"Instead of imposing fines to pedestrians, We think that it would be better if we safeguard their safety to encourage more to also walk. This way, the flow of traffic will be lighter, we'll get cleaner air, and we get a healthier citizenry."

MMDA spokespersdon Romando Artes yesterday shared the idea of doubing the fines in the two major thoroughfares in the National Capital Region shortly after a meeting he has with the Metro Manila Council.

Along with the monetary penalty, the MMDA official said that they're currently mulling seminars to disuade pedestrians from crossing the said roads.

The proposal is currently not yet in place prior to consultations. Active transport advocates AltMobility PH yesterday criticized the plan, calling it "inhumane and out of touch with the realities of pedestrians and vulnerable road users," who happen to be the majority of Filipinos.

'Speed limits, takedown of hostile bridges'

Included in the proposal of Move As One Coalition are the following:

  • 30 kilometer per hour speed limits
  • better walkways and ramps for persons with disabilities
  • takedown of footbridges and elevated walkways that burden the elderly, PWDs, and those that carry small children
  • creation of "at grade crossing" that are at the same level with roads alongside countdown stoplights

MMDA Resolution 19-001 currently sets the speed limit of Metro Manila radial and circumferencial roads, like EDSA, at 60 kph. 

"People who walk — not car owners — are more vulnerable to injuries and death whenever there's a roadcrash," the coalition added.

"It's unfair to deny pedestrians with safety just to make the daily travel of car owners, who only comprise 6% of the Philippine public, smoother."

A 2015 survey reportedly conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency  earlier said that 79.5% of Metro Manila residents travel through walking or public transportation.

Around 44% of those who go to work do so by walking, according to a 2020 survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations.

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