City Officials encouraged city residents to use walking as a mode of transportation with the slogan ‘Walk Baguio Walk.’
Under Resolution No. 425, series of 2020, signed by Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong, it states that walking as a mode of transportation would be beneficial to the residents, such as better health, as physical inactivity is the 4th leading risk factor to global mortality based on the reports from the World Health Organization (WHO).
The resolution also said walking is advantageous in preserving and protecting the environment as active transport, such as walking and cycling, are zero emission methods of travel, thus, the associated environmental benefits from a shift to cars to active transport would significantly reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Further, walking will also reduce air pollution and improve quality of life in cities as many deaths are linked to air pollution and the health services and the health impact of traffic fumes cost millions of pesos.
Accordingly, walking will also reduce congestions, such as in Europe where the European Commission (EC) estimated that road congestion caused 1 percent of EU’s gross domestic product (GDP) per year or around 100 billion euros, thus, increasing the modal share of active transport will likely reduce congestion as bicycles consume 7 to 10 times less space than cars while moving in urban areas and 6 to 50 times less space while parked.
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City officials mentioned studies showed walking and cycling measures reduce congestion and multiple benefits can be observed as a result of the same.
Earlier, experts declared wholesome walking is the primary mode of transportation, thus everyone walks or uses a wheelchair at some time in their lives, but few of the people realize how often walking is part of their trip.
The city officials claimed Baguio City is blessed with a very fine weather which makes it conducive for residents and visitors to walk as a mode of transport and help address major problems of urban centers in the global village.
Earlier, the European Commission embarked on a flagship project dubbed European Mobility Week 2019 that aggressively promoted walking and cycling for better towns and cities while campaigning for the promotion of clean and sustainable urban transport.
This year, the EU would like to remind its citizens that walking is enjoyable, healthy and completely free of charge. Many times, it is also a mode for a smooth multi-modal journey.
City officials emphasized that the EU has invested a lot of effort to make walking and cycling safe as well, thus, it is high time for Baguio City residents to walk because of the prevailing difficulty of transportation due to the suspension of mass public transport when the Luzonwide lockdown was implemented.
The EU stipulated that local governments can do a lot to encourage walking in urban areas, pedestrianizing streets and creating low-emission zones so that residents will be encouraged to walk around in going to and from their points of origin to their places of destination.
By Dexter A. See
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