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Friday, September 24, 2021

Seares: Who are hogging the road?

ROAD-SHARING” which Cebu City experimented on last Sunday, assumes that pedestrians have equal right to the road and there's road to share.

Its advocates argue that vehicle owners are being unfair to non-vehicle owners. A gaping hole in that argument: vehicles using the road are not solely privately owned.

Jeeps, taxis, buses, trisikads, "habal-habals" ferry public commuters. Trucks and vans move goods, motorized couriers bring pizza and happy meals. Vehicles deliver government services.

The road is not just artery for private vehicles. Along it also flows public transport, carriers of trade and industry, and vehicles that deliver basic government services.

When that experiment clogged the road, road-sharers thought that only private vehicle owners were hurt. Not so: commuting public, business sector and government service also got socked.

The road is too small and narrow, the vehicles so numerous for any group to hog (except motorcycles that weave in and out of traffic, beyond the control of regulators).

Sidewalks

The road has always been for vehicles, a demand of public safety. Limit its use but not for pedestrians, bikers and skateboarders.

Pedestrians have their sidewalks, long usurped by vendors and merchants. Return the sidewalks to people on foot or they spill over to the road because of obstructions.

Find a playground for skate boarders. Those who commute by bike deserve their own route but not till the road is decongested by mass transport.

"Road-sharing" is an epic anomaly because it assumes, wrongly, there's enough road to share.

(paseares@sunstar.com.ph)
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