MANILA - A group of motorcycle riders on Saturday said they will not back down after Metro Manila mayors said they are studying a proposal to ban motorcycles along EDSA.
"Hindi kami papayag na hindi kami payagan sa EDSA. Haharap kami diyan sa mga Metro Manila mayors," Atoy Sta. Cruz, president of Motorcycle Philippines Federation, said in an interview on radio DZMM.
Sta. Cruz said their dialogue with former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino several years ago led to the creation of the motorcycle lane.
"Nakipag-usap kami, tinanong namin kung aksidente bakit hindi niyo kami bigyan ng motorcycle lane? Kung aksidente pinag-uusapan, papakita namin sa inyo na kami disiplinado," he said.
"Ang question namin ngayon, ano ba talaga ang problema sa EDSA? Trapik ba o aksidente? Yan ang hindi nila masagot sa’min eh."
The Metro Manila Council earlier directed the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority to conduct a study on banning motorcycles along EDSA.
"National road ang EDSA. Mayroon tayong batas na kapag national road, bawal ang tricycle, bawal ang motorsiklo. So ano 'yong puwedeng alternative?" said MMC president and Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista.
"Kung talagang mahihirapan tayo at sagabal ang mga motor, puwede silang i-ban na lang sa EDSA," MMDA Assistant General Manager Jojo Garcia said. "Puwede silang dumaan sa mga side street."
Sta. Cruz, meanwhile, said letting motorcycles traverse the Manila–Cavite Expressway or Coastal Road will lessen traffic congestion in the metro.
"Ibukas lang yung kapirasong Coastal Road, bayaan niyo makapasok yung small bike, guarantee namin, sa survey namin, 10,000 cars ang mababawas na pumapasok sa loob ng Metro Manila," he said.
"Kasi pag nagamit yan, marami kaming motorcycle member na nasa call center, pagbigyan nila yan, hindi na nila ipapasok yung kotse nila, magmomotor na sila eh," he added.
Data from the MMDA in 2016 showed around 70,000 motorcycles traverse EDSA. In 2015, it recorded a total of 18,668 motorcycle-related accidents in the metropolis, 238 of which resulted in deaths.
The Road Crash Statistical Report from January to April this year recorded a total of 7,033 motorcycle accidents, 82 of which are considered fatal.