Share the road

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Thursday, February 20, 2014


THERE is a group of petitioners who reportedly claims that it is “fed up” with traffic jams and air and noise pollution. It thus asked the Supreme Court to “compel the government to implement” a road-sharing system with other inhabitants of the country who would rather walk than ride in buses, cars or motorcycles.

The group practically aired a conflict between social classes.

Just the same, reality is not truly with deep social undercurrent but is a matter of physical convenience and ease in mobility. Thus, we are told that practically all the roads in the country are given to just less than two percent of the population that owns motor vehicles and that 98 percent of Filipinos are not even given proper space for them to just walk or hike.

The mass of our national population that are somehow begrudged by this situation are reportedly “demanding that half of the roads be set aside for-non-motorized transportation, like safe and covered sidewalks, edible gardens, and all weather bike lanes, and the other half for an organized transport system.”

This open proposal for a fair and just sharing of our road network in the nation may not be appreciable to the many who are presently users of our roads since they feel that roads, by tradition, are built by public or private interests for the use more by transportation on wheels.

However, there are many proposals that have been suggested or offered as solution to the truly hellish traffic congestion that have been besieging cities and other urban centers in the globe. Our problem here must just be minuscule compared with the others, such as in Europe and the Americas.

But just the same, with the influx of people with an elitist turn of mind who consider cars as a status symbol, and riding in buses as the fastest way to get to their various destinations, roads and motor vehicles become a matter of urgent need.

Lately, we have been regaled with some entities moving for 4-day work week in order to ease the prospect of having to undergo a “hellish traffic jam” in Metro Manila where two major road projects beginning simultaneously. At the same time, that setup will give public workers a comforting day off.

But what appears to be truly just and realistic is the call for our national leaders to take genuine cognizance of the need to look with urgency at the social inequity that has so far been the lot of majority of our people.

There is that report, for instance, from the National Economic Development Authority that revealed that while the economy in a number of our provinces have risen in recent months, the same development have not been felt by the people.

The revelation is definitely interesting and is, at the same time, an eye-opener.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 20, 2014.

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