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Pedestrians v car owners: Justice Leonen tells mayors sidewalks are for walking not parking

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Associate Justice Marvic Leonen is fighting for the rights of pedestrians in the face of Metro Manila mayors bias for car owners in designing and building roads and sidewalks.

Leonen fired off a series of tweets in the last seven days pushing for the ultimate solution to traffic: walking.

“In Metro Manila, sidewalks are used as parking spaces for cars. More roads are built for cars. Walking is discouraged or made dangerous,” said Leonen.

“I propose a massive infrastructure program that privileges pedestrians which consists of clearing sidewalks, creating a network of covered walks and replanting trees along these walks. Pedestrians before cars,” he added.


Leonen said while mayors were clearing up roads to ease up traffic
for cars, they have neglected sidewalks clogged by parked cars,
vendors and illegal structures.

Leonen said taxpayers should not be made to subsidize for private car
owners who use sidewalks and roads to park their vehicles.
“The true cost of owning a car is not borne by the car owner. This
plus the easy financing provided by car companies to own a car
contributes to traffic,” he said.


“Those with cars burn carbon and incrementally contribute to air
pollution. However, they are protected from its immediate
consequences. The pedestrian and commuter who cannot afford suffer the
consequences,” he added.

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