AAP Vice President and Chairman, AAP Advocacies Committee
As the National Auto Club, the Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) seeks to promote the safety not only of motorists, but also of pedestrians and other road users.
In the case of pedestrians, the best Christmas gift that the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) can give is cleared, clean sidewalks, especially on Edsa.
On behalf of AAP, I have written PNP-HPG Chief Supt. Arnold Gumacao calling attention to the parking and presence of motor vehicles on sidewalks along Edsa and other major roads.
The sidewalks and pedestrian lanes are there to be used by pedestrians, not motorized vehicles. The risk of road crashes is increased, such as when passing vehicles hit or sideswipe illegally parked cars, thus endangering pedestrians.
Since the PNP-HPG is tasked with managing and improving traffic flow, especially on EDSA, we respectfully suggest strict and consistent enforcement of traffic regulations by its officers, including the No Parking rule on sidewalks.
To be specific, parking on sidewalks violates Section 23 of Presidential Decree (PD) 17, also known as the Revised Philippine Highway Act, stating: “It shall be unlawful for any person to usurp any portion of a right-of-way, to convert any part of any public highway, bridge, wharf or trail to his own private use or to obstruct the same in any manner.”
AAP is ready to offer a helping hand by pinpointing the areas along Edsa where drivers often park their vehicles on the sidewalk or use it as a driveway.
Incidentally, PD 17 also applies to the plant boxes along EDSA. Supporting this, on July 7, 2014, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) issued Department Order No. 73, Series of 2014, pursuant to the provisions of the National Building Code of the Philippines (PD 1096) and its implementing rules and regulations, regarding prohibited structures within the right-of-way of national roads.
DPWH Dept Order No. 73 Series of 2014 stipulates that: “trees, shrubs and plant boxes are among the structures prohibited within the right-of-way of all the national roads.”
To comply with PD 17 and DPWH Dept Order No. 73 Series of 2014, AAP recommends that the MMDA remove immediately the plant boxes along EDSA as they are not only contrary to law, they also pose a threat to the safety of pedestrians, commuters, motorists and all road users.
Besides clearing sidewalks of illegally parked vehicles and plant boxes, please also remove sidewalk vendors, commercial signboards and other debris. When motorists and commuters crawl on Edsa’s endless heavy traffic, they should at least be cheered up to see the sidewalks clear and clean.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all Fast Times AAP Corner readers!
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