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Initiative seeks 'greener' EDSA designed for better mobility
This 2020 photo shows private vehicles separated from the bus lane along EDSA Highway, which was rolled out amid the pandemic
The STAR/Boy Santos, file

Initiative seeks 'greener' EDSA designed for better mobility

(Philstar.com) - April 22, 2021 - 4:10pm

MANILA, Philippines — Civic-oriented groups on Thursday pushed for environmental reforms along Metro Manila's major thoroughfare to mark this year's Earth Day. 

Chairman Eduardo Yap of the Green EDSA Movement said the initiative seeks to prioritize people over vehicle mobility by widening sidewalks and bike lanes, along with putting more trees there.

EDSA is the capital region's longest highway. This often comes with traffic and congestion problems, which in turn, help exacerbate air pollution in Metro Manila.

"Our vision is to transform EDSA...into an iconic green avenue," Yap said in a online launch. "We would like to see a calmer EDSA with clean energy and public transportation."

Green EDSA Movement Launching Ceremony

Welcome to the Launching Ceremony of the Green EDSA Movement. Led by Chairman Eduardo "Eddie" Yap and the core convenors, we are presenting our manifesto for the movement. Please click to see the program details: https://bit.ly/2QqA9W9

Posted by Green Edsa Movement on Wednesday, 21 April 2021

Core convenors in a manifesto vowed to pursue this, along with adopting an "aeshetic and environment-friendly" construction of infrastructures that would give more space for people mobility.

They also committed to encourage more businesses to join the movement, and support government's transportation policies and its enforcement.

Yap said some of the key measures the country could also undertake to combat the climate crisis is to rollout efficient public transportation, rationalize road space allocation, and control emission.

He cited model projects that the Philippines could also follow through, such as Singapore's orchard and airport roads, and Paris' green rehabilitation of the Champs Elysees avenue.

"This is the representation of what we aspire for EDSA," he said. "This is not an impossible dream. So many large cities have this, and this is the right of every people to be entitled to this."

In May 2020, the Department of Transportation presented a road plan to put up bike and bus lanes, pedestrian crossings and bus boarding areas in the highway. It, however, came with no clear details on funding.

Among those who joined in the launch were Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, respectively, along with Mayors Joy Belmonte of Quezon City and Abby Binay of Makati, whose areas are covered by EDSA.

"We are now pushing for behavioral change while considering co-benefits between public health, environment sustainability and aggressive climate action," Belmonte said.

The Quezon City mayor said they are looking into establishing cycling and walking pathways, augmentations to bus rapid transit systems, as well as procuring zero-emission vehicles for government use, to name a few.

Binay, meanwhile, sought to reach out to Makati's business sector and property owners to support the Green EDSA Movement. She said the city has its own eco-programs and green initiatives as well.

Various business organizations, corporate and environment groups are in support of the Green EDSA Movement. 

It ranges from the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to SM Development Corp., Megaworld Corp. as well as Zero Waste Philippines and Earth Day Network Philippines.

AIR POLLUTION DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EPIFANIO DELOS SANTOS AVENUE METRO MANILA TRAFFIC
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