MANILA - An urban planning expert on Thursday called on the government to make Metro Manila's streets more inviting for pedestrians and cyclists amid the COVID-19 pandemic as part of "tactical urbanism" to the capital region's perennial traffic problem.
Architect Felino "Jun" Palafox proposed to make more "walkable and bikeable" cities while roads are not too clogged due to quarantine restrictions. This is also a more practical, and climate-friendly approach to improve mobility in the metro.
"It's an opportunity na habang may pandemic, gumawa ng more walkable cities, bikable cities," he told Teleradyo.
(It's an opportunity that while there's a pandemic, let's make more walkable cities, bikable cities.)
Amid the threat of COVID-19 spread, Palafox said reallocating road spaces to people on foot and cycles are the best modes of transportation while observing physical distancing.
"Walking, biking and even motorcycles are the best modes to transportation with social distancing," he said. "It's environment-friendly, democratic and affordable. Everybody can do that."
Meanwhile, in the capital's major thoroughfare, Palafox suggested of creating elevated walkways to help decongest EDSA.
The highway has been plagued by monstrous traffic jams because it is equivalent to 8 roads such as major and minor arterial roads, and residential and shopping access roads, he added.
"EDSA is about 8 parallel roads. Nasaan 'yung parallel road? Nasa gated military camp, gated communities kaya punong-puno," he said.
(Where are its parallel roads? It's situated in a gated military camp, gated communities that's why the road is choked with traffic.)
Palafox said they had also previoulsy proposed of charging vehicles plying EDSA during rush hour to dissuade motorists from driving.
Records from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) showed that more than 400,000 vehicles ply EDSA daily.