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Manila LGU bringing back 'car-free Sundays' this month

Paige Javier | ABS-CBN News

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MANILA — Expect no cars along a portion of Roxas Boulevard every Sunday morning this month.

The local government of Manila will implement a ban on motor vehicles along the stretch of Padre Burgos to Quirino from 5 to 9 in the morning on Sundays.

Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna is set to sign Ordinance No. 9047, implementing the “Move Manila-Car Free Sundays” along the thoroughfare.

“Siyempre bilang isang doktora una nating priority ay ang kalusugan ng ating mga kapwa Manileños at siyempre mga kababayan nating Pilipino. So minabuti natin na ibalik ang kinaugalian dito sa Roxas Boulevard na weekly po isasarado ang north and southbound ng Roxas Boulevard para magamit ng ating kababayan para sa kanilang pag-e-ehersisyo,” Lacuna said.

(As a doctor, my priority is the health of Manileños and our fellow Filipinos. So we are bringing back the previous scheme of closing the north and southbound lanes of Roxas Boulevard so our countrymen can use it to exercise.)

Aside from health benefits, Lacuna said the ordinance also seeks to lessen pollution in the area.

“‘Yung ating Move Manila program kasama po dito yung motor vehicle and pollution free na gusto sana natin matupad dito sa lungsod ng Maynila kahit how many hours lang lalong-lalo na dito sa Roxas Boulevard na alam naman natin isa sa main roads na dinadaanan,” Lacuna added.

(Our Move Manila program includes motor vehicles and pollution free that we want to achieve here in the city of Manila, even for just how many hours, especially along Roxas Boulevard which is a main thoroughfare)

When asked about the effect of the temporary road closure on traffic in the area, Lacuna says they have provided alternate routes.

“‘Yung service road natin magagamit for light vehicles pati yung Mabini madadaanan din. Tapos yung mas malalaking sasakyan ay padadaanin natin sa Taft Avenue. Every Sunday 5 am to 9 am papayagan natin ang malalaking sasakyan sa Taft Avenue,” she explained.

(Our service road can be used for light vehicles, cars can also pass Mabini. For large vehicles, we will allow them to pass through Taft Avenue. Every Sunday 9 to 5 am we are permitting them along Taft Avenue)

‘NOT NEW’ 

Manila 6th District Councilor Philip Lacuna, author of the draft ordinance said in a council meeting, road closures are not new in Manila since the Traffic and Parking Bureau implements these during fun runs in the city.

“It proves na hindi naman po masyadong nagiging sagabal po ito sa normal na daluyan ng trapiko or sa pag pasok ng kailangan pumasok sa trabaho kahit na po Linggo o doon sa meron pong negosyo,” he said.

(This proves [the closure] will not be an inconvenience to the normal flow of traffic or for those who need to go to work on Sundays, even those who have businesses.)

Lacuna and Vice Mayor Yul Servo Nieto inspected the route on Sunday to see the readiness for the grand launch on May 26.

Among the improvements is to use two lanes for cyclists and one lane for joggers.

Other cities in Metro Manila like Mandaluyong and Bonifacio Global City have implemented “car-free” schemes on select roads on weekends.

“Car-free” programs are also being implemented in global cities like New York, Paris and Vancouver.

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