Caught (up) in traffic

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Daily Archives: April 23, 2014

More snippets of Manila streets

The City of Manila has always been fascinating from the perspective of transport and traffic due to the many peculiarities and contradictions you’ll find around the city. Here are a few more photos and some comments on the Manila’s transport and traffic.

2014-03-06 08.07.41Pedestrian overpass along Espana Avenue right after P. Campa Street and just before Morayta Street. Most overpasses in Metro Manila are roofless so this overpass is an exception. Most roofless overpasses were constructed when Bayani Fernando was MMDA Chair and were made so to discourage vendors from setting up on the overpass. The roof, however, makes sense considering the high pedestrian traffic (mainly students) in this area, which is dubbed the University Belt due to the many universities and colleges located here.

2014-03-06 08.13.16Another overpass in Manila, this time roofless, along Quezon Boulevard. Notice the large umbrellas in the photo? Under these are informal vendors who have set-up shop atop the overpass, effectively constricting pedestrian movement on the facility. Notice, too, the signboard bearing a message from the incumbent Mayor of Manila who happens to be a former Philippines President. The message in Filipino translates to “There’s hope for a New Manila.”

2014-03-06 08.17.05Non-motorized pedicabs proliferate in Manila and particularly in and around Intramuros, the historic walled city that was Manila during the Spanish period. There are just too many of these 3-wheelers in this city and most if not all drivers are oblivious to traffic rules and regulations. In Intramuros they have narrow streets and most destinations of interest don’t really require a vehicle. Walking is the most suitable transport within the walled city. These pedicabs are quite peculiar for a district that is supposed to be walkable and very accessible to public transport along its main streets. Manila has tolerated (some say spoiled) the operators of these vehicles and has made “livelihood” as the standard excuse for their existence and proliferation especially in low income areas of the city.

2014-03-06 08.24.37There are a lot of “tambays” or people just loitering around or spending (wasting?) time in the open spaces near and at the Liwasang Bonifacio just across from the Manila Central Post Office and Manila City Hall. Many of these are homeless people that the city as well as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) have not attended to. Their presence are just too obvious to passers by and mingling among them if not they themselves are snatchers, muggers and other unwelcome elements of our society. The tarpaulin is placed over a sign stating trucks are prohibited from using Roxas Boulevard. The new truck policies in Manila have been a hot topic since early this year but everything now seems to be back to “normal” after somewhat spirited reactions from truckers that again exposed issues pertaining to the traffic impacts of the Port of Manila.