17 February 2014
Sen. Pia backs call to ‘share the road’
Senator Pia S. Cayetano today expressed her support to the initiative of citizens which is calling on the government to implement a road-sharing scheme and to promote sustainable modes of transportation.
The call to ‘share the road’ is being spearheaded by a group of students, bikers and environment advocates, including Ramon Magsaysay awardee, Atty. Antonio Oposa.
On Monday morning, the group filed a petition for a Writ of Kalikasan (nature) at the Supreme Court to compel the government to devise a road-sharing scheme for motorists, pedestrians and bikers. The petitioners then marched to the Senate to press lawmakers to pass a road-sharing law.
“Road-sharing is being offered as a radical solution to perennial traffic congestion, inefficient mass transport systems and the worsening air pollution in Metro Manila and major urban centers,” Cayetano said. “As a healthy lifestyle advocate and biking enthusiast, I have long supported calls such as this seeking to make our cities walkable and bike-friendly, and the air in our cities breathable for the current and succeeding generations.”
“Additionally, the government must develop efficient modes of mass transportation for our growing population. These schemes would encourage people to avail of these alternatives and be less dependent on cars, which contribute to pollution and traffic,” she added.
“Those who claim that road-sharing is impractical and impossible to enforce should look at the successful examples of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Venice (Italy), which are considered among the world’s most walkable and bike-friendly cities.”
Cayetano is the principal author of Senate Bill No.26, the Sustainable Transportation Act, which mandates alternative and sustainable modes of transportation in order to reduce greenhouse emissions, promote efficiency in public transport systems, and encourage citizens to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
The bill also seeks the establishment of bike lanes and walkways in urban centers, promotion of non-motorized transport, and the revival of river ferry systems. SBN 26 has garnered the support of Senator Cynthia Villar.
The Writ of Kalikasan, Cayetano pointed out, was formulated by the Supreme Court precisely as a remedy for citizens who seek to question unlawful acts or omissions that threaten their right to a balanced and healthful ecology under the Constitution.
She added that road-sharing and the Sustainable Transportation Act can go hand-in-hand towards transforming the current mass transport system, which she said has become unwieldy, unsustainable and unsafe to the environment and to people’s health and safety. #