Bike organizations rejoice! On Sunday, June 28, EDSA will become one whole bicycle lane from Ortigas to SM MOA. MMDA has announced that they will do an experiment and close two lanes of EDSA for bikers and pedestrians.
Yep. You heard it right: EDSA will become three lanes only on June 28 to give way to bikers to share the road to non petrol guzzling forms of transportation. So I suggest to motorists: avoid EDSA on that day. From 5 existing lanes, motorists will only get to use three lanes to share the road to cyclists. The aim for this exercise is to find alternative means of transportation other than motor powered vehicles. It hopes that through this activity, people will be aware about the environmental issues hanging in the air such as pollution and the like. It is much healthier to pedal your way from one point to another. We already know that; we just have to constantly remind people about it, right?
According to Atty. Antonio Oposa Jr., the Share the Road mastermind, the aim of the road-sharing scheme is to introduce a transportation system with a reduced number of private vehicles.
According to the Rappler.com report:
Road-sharing is an exercise of the “Bayanihan sa Daan” principle in which the road becomes a venue for people to practice cooperative heroism.
The hope is that an equally distributed road will encourage more people to walk or bike, lessening the number of cars on the road.
Less than 1% of Filipinos own cars, says Oposa, yet they are given a lion’s share of the road. Pedestrians, meanwhile, make do with tiny, often rutted, sidewalks. Bikers too have to make the most of bike lanes not respected by all motorists.
With one half of each of the lanes devoid of cars, pedestrians and bikers are given a wider space.
“I have full support for this program, for any effort to clean our air, improve health of our citizens, and ease traffic,” said MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino.
He said this was only a “proof of concept” and trial, “so we can see what will happen, if it will work.”
“This isn’t going to be perfect. There will be complaints. But as an exercise, practice makes perfect. If you do this in EDSA, you can do this anywhere in the Philippines and the world,” said Oposa.
He also encouraged private car owners to take public transportation on that day instead.
“The whole point is to challenge the mentality that cars should be the primary form of transportation,” he said.
I am sure this will create a stir among the motorists and naysayers will further curse the two wheeled machine for all this ruckus. According to reports, less than 1% of the population own cars in the Philippines, yet they are the influential ones. Nobody wants to leave the comfort of the air-conditioned private vehicle to pedal from Makati to Megamall. That’s cray cray!! Sun is too hot! What if it rains?
But at the end of the day, this may work if it is properly implemented and briefed. All parties should be informed. Start spreading the news. Tell them about the Road sharing program. Knowing is half the battle. No road rage. All good vibes.
Wear a helmet on June 28. Ride safe and enjoy the road.
acknowledgement to Rappler.com for the pictures of EDSA and the proposed bike scheme.