Another look at the Muelle Del Rio
Got to pass by the Muelle Del Rio again en route to a meeting at the DPWH in the Port Area. We took this route as we wanted to avoid congestion in front of the Manila City Hall and along Padre Burgos. I made sure I took additional photos of the road including the approach from the Quezon Bridge to show the parked vehicles, mostly UV Express, parked along the road. Some maps already refer to the Muelle Del Rio as Riverside Drive. I think this is not appropriate especially from the perspective of heritage and the preservation of street names that are strongly linked with history. Such is an unnecessary simplification that should not be the case especially in the historic City of Manila and in the vicinity of Intramuros.
Approach from the Quezon Bridge – UV Express (FX taxis) parked along the roadside
A bridge too close – the road comes quite close to the approach to MacArthur Bridge (the road on the other side of the barrier), which leads from Padre Burgos to Carriedo
Taking a turn – turning from the approach towards the riverside portion of the Muelle del Rio, one can see the bridge for the LRT Line 1 and trees where homeless people usually take shelter. The driveway under the bridge is for a public transport terminal occupying the area under the bridge.
Underpass at MacArthur – the walls of the plant box are painted and seem to be well-maintained while that of the bridge are vandalized
Behind the Post Office – the walls/fence of the post office is vandalized while there seems to be no one using the walkway along the Pasig River at the right of the photo. The yellow poles are light posts. There are no pavement markings along this stretch of the road.
Pools – water from the mid-day rains accumulate along the gutters at either side of the road. The walls of the Manila Central Post Office look dirty from the combination of grime and vandalism.
Sidestreet – approach to the junction to the sidestreet between the central post office and the building of the Philpost Bank before the underpass at the Jones Bridge
Jones Bridge underpass – the underpass is obscured by the tree growing beside the wall. The stairs shown on the right of the photo is the pedestrian access to the bridge from the riverside walkway.
After the bridge – there is significant traffic behind the National Press Club building
Bureau of Immigration – the BI complex is behind the wall shown on the left of the photo. There is a wide buffer zone along the Pasig River that’s been developed into a riverside park by the City of Manila. The curious Y-shaped structures are lamp posts that provide ample illumination at night time.
Approaching the terminal – the park area on the right is also used as parking space by visitors of the BI and those using the now non-operational Pasig River Ferry terminal at the mouth of the Pasig.
Ferry terminal – parked vehicles along the terminal plaza are actually those of employees and visitors of the BI
Post-terminal – the open area/riverside park continues after the ferry terminal and across the Plaza Mexico. Faintly visible on the left of the photo is the Acapulco Galleon Trade Monument that commemorated the trade route between the Philippines and Mexico during the Spanish Period. Across from the other side of Plaza Mexico are the ruins of the old Aduana (Customs) building.
The dark side – the lamp posts seem to have been removed from their concrete bases. This was also shown in the preceding photo and I can just imagine how dark it is at night. The area has much potential as a park and the City of Manila should develop the place for it to attract people.
Reconstruction – the Intramuros Administration and the Department of Tourism are already implementing some projects here and there but more would have to be done for Intramuros and the Muelle del Rio to be revived and become a major attraction if only for its heritage value. I certainly would like to see it developed like Melaka in Malaysia.
The Intramuros area including the Muelle del Rio may be considered for cycling and pedestrian facilities to encourage people to walk and cycle in the area. The stretch certainly has potential for walking and NMT, and should not be allowed to deteriorate further. Off-street parking facilities should also be considered and carefully planned such that on-street parking may be restricted and space be made available for pedestrian facilities. I am sure there are many planners and architects who would be up to this challenge.