FOR the longest time, infrastructure and traffic management agencies at both national and local government levels built and managed urban roads and bridges to facilitate the movement of private motor vehicles. The implicit rationale was that automobiles offered comfort, convenience and freedom — every family deserved a car. This vision, however, was neither realistic nor sustainable.
We now know that if everyone relies on a motor vehicle to get around, we all end up stuck — with more traffic, more pollution, more heat, more climate change, more deaths and injuries from road crashes, more social isolation and more time wasted. With only 6 percent of Philippine households owning cars, our cities are already severely congested, heavily polluted and increasingly unlivable; what more if the number of car-owning households doubles or triples in coming years? We need to recognize this impending disaster and avoid it.
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