Limpag: Stuck in traffic? Try walking-A A +A
On the run
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
HOW much time do you spend stuck in traffic nowadays? Two hours? Three? Do you ever wonder whether there is a way out of this blight of Philippine urban living?
Last week, my wife and I decided to walk to SM City Cebu from our office in Sun.Star Cebu at past 6 in the evening spend more than an hour waiting for a cab and then sit in wait as the vehicle inched its way through the traffic gridlock leading to the mall.
The 2.6-kilometer walk took a little over 30 minutes—light speed when compared with the turtle-paced movement of the nightmarish traffic gridlock you now see all over the city.
If you can’t run, walk. That’s a common advice of veteran runners to newbies in the sport. You don’t have to run the entire distance. In fact, it’s better to take walk breaks, said Frontrunner publisher and ultra-marathoner Jonel Mendoza.
If you can’t run, walk. That takes on another meaning for people who’ve always wanted to run but can’t find the time for the sport.
If you can’t find the time to go to the Cebu City Sports Center to run, incorporate walking into your daily routine.
If you need to go somewhere that’s just two or three kilometers away, walk instead of driving or taking a taxi. Not only is it faster at certain times and in certain areas in the city, it’s also more beneficial to your health.
Whether you walk or run, you burn the same number of calories by travelling the same distance by foot. You burn more calories running only because you are able to cover more ground for the same amount of time walking.
I used to regularly run to Sun.Star from my home in Lapu-Lapu City and vice versa but had to stop because of adjustments in work and family schedules. But I still regularly walk when I need to go to places.
We used to have a walking culture, said lawyer and Ramon Magsaysay awardee Antonio Oposa. Now, people take cars even for just short travels.
“Our insistence on individual mobility has resulted in serious collective immobility,” he said in a meeting last Saturday with runners, bikers and stakeholders for his “Road Revolution” proposal.
But beyond the crippling traffic gridlock, our “inertia of collective insanity” in insisting on a car-based transportation system has polluted our environment that respiratory ailments are now among the country’s top diseases.
Oposa, in his usual irrepressible self, has a solution—rethinking our transportation system. He wants our roads transformed so that 30 percent will be turned into wide walkways that are safe for pedestrians, joggers and runners. He wants another 30 percent set aside for bicycle lanes. The 30 percent will be allotted for a mass transit system—whether scheduled jeepneys (merely as stop-gap measure), bus rapid transit system or a pedal-powered train he helped design. The remaining 10 percent, he wants to set aside for vegetable gardens.
“Those who have less in wheels must have more in road,” Oposa quoted section 9 of the executive order on climate change issued by the Philippine Government last December 2008.
That section says the country’s transport system should “favor non-motorized locomotion and collective transportation system (walking, bicycling and the man powered-mini-train).”
Impossible? Fool-hardy? Yabag? Tell Oposa yourself. The group will meet on Feb. 4 in Cebu to plot the next steps in reclaiming our roads for people.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 22, 2010.