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‘Car-free Sundays’ dry run along Roxas Boulevard starts today

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila city government will hold a dry run today for a proposed ordinance banning cars along a portion of Roxas Boulevard every Sunday.

Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan will lead the dry run of the Motor Vehicle-free Manila program.

The northbound and southbound directions of Roxas Boulevard from Padre Burgos Avenue to Quirino Avenue would be off-limits to vehicular traffic from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. on May 12, 19 and 26 and on June 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30, according to an advisory from the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau.

The closure of one of Manila’s major thoroughfares would enable people to do jogging, walking, running and cycling, it said.

Meanwhile, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) advised motorists to avoid Roxas Boulevard and instead use Quirino Avenue, Padre Burgos Avenue and Taft Avenue.

They could also take Maria Orosa street, Kalaw Avenue, M. H. del Pilar street and Bonifacio Drive to avoid the closed portion of Roxas Boulevard.

Drivers of trailer trucks and heavy vehicles from Del Pan Bridge should “turn around at Anda Circle to the northbound lane of Mel Lopez Boulevard to C-3 to point of destination,” the MMDA noted.

Signages printed on tarpaulin have been installed along Roxas Boulevard to notify motorists about the closure.

Lacuna-Pangan would sign into law next week Ordinance 9047, which promotes health and wellness through car-free Sundays along Roxas Boulevard, The STAR learned.

Its author, city council minority floor leader and District 6 Councilor Salvador Philip Lacuna said the law would promote “increased physical activity, reduced air pollution exposure, improved mental well-being, lowered risk of cardiovascular diseases and enhanced community engagement.”

He cited Section 21 of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code that said local governments can temporarily close roads.