WE see more cars on the road every day. The assumption is that if roads are filled with cars, more roads are needed to accommodate the growing number of motor vehicles. This is unfortunately a flawed prescription, leading to greater traffic, more pollution and faster climate change. Building more roads for cars provides only temporary relief and eventually attracts greater car use, making things worse.
Given our climate and mobility crisis, transportation planning and traffic management should not be about making cars travel faster or providing for increased motorization. It is about shaping travel behavior and demand in the direction required for our collective welfare and survival. We need to design and plan in order to shape the kind of future that we want and need, rather than keeping us on a downward spiral.
If we want a better future for ourselves and future generations, we need to plan our cities so that public transportation, walking and cycling are the preferred modes of travel for all of us, even if we own cars or motorcycles. Because November 28 is National Bicycle Day in the Philippines, I would like to focus this column on the desirability and urgency of making our roads safe and attractive for cycling.
Many officials ask, "Why do you need more bicycle infrastructure when there are relatively few people using bicycles?" Simply put, safe and convenient bike lanes are required because more people cycling is good for all of us, even for those in motor vehicles. And it fits […]