Our students at the University of the Philippines Diliman are currently making their final presentations for the research topic proposals to be implemented in the next second semester (January to May 2016). The first semester (August to December 2015) focused on research topic formulation including problem identification and formulation, review of related literature, and development of methodologies for data collection and analysis. Here are the topics of our students in transportation engineering and planning (not in any order):
- Economic Feasibility of Electric Tricycles as Shuttle-Type Transport Service in Medium Density Residential Areas with Linear-Type Local Road
- A Study on Road Public Transport Policies and Planning in Metropolitan Manila: 1970s to the Present
- Comparative Study of GrabTaxi and Regular Taxi within Metro Manila
- Comparative Study of Uber and Regular Taxi
- An Analysis of Road User Behavior Influence on Unsignalized Intersection Performance
- An Assessment of Cycling and Bicycle Lanes along Marcos Highway
- Energy Efficiency of Electric Jeepneys
- Application of Discrete Choice Modeling in UP Diliman
- Development of Vissim Traffic Simulation Model of UP Diliman (Focus on Vehicle Characteristics)
- Evaluation of Runway Design and Capacity of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL)
- Determination of Satellite Parking Locations and Capacities in the University of the Philippines Diliman Campus
- Critical Review of Practices Abroad Towards Identifying Pavement Performance Indicators in the Philippines
- A Study on the Suitability of Tricycles as an Urban Transport Mode in the Philippines
- Benefit Monitoring and Evaluation of the South Metro Manila Skyway Project (Stages 1 and 2)
- Predicting Student Trip Patterns Using Enrolment Data within UP Diliman
- Video Image Processing for Parking Management
- Analysis of Occupancy and Dwell Time of Buses in EDSA
- Development of Public Transport Information System in UP-Diliman
- Philippine Air Transport Safety: Analysis of Incidents over the Last Two Decades
- Evaluation of Transfer Facilities for Public Transportation in Metro Manila
- Survey of Maintenance Practices for Concrete Structures in Transportation Facilities
- Road Safety Audit Evaluation of Expressways
- Calibrating MOBIL Lane Changing Model for Local Traffic Micro- Simulators
- Development of VISSIM Traffic Simulation Model of UP Diliman
Again, note that there are many topics here that have as a study area the UP Diliman campus. These are part of the studies the Institute of Civil Engineering and the National Center for Transportation Studies are conducting to address transportation issues in the campus, which is an open campus with public roads.
I came across this article posted at the Planetizen site entitled Pro-Walking, or Anti-Car. It is a good article that heads-on addresses the the differences of being pro-walking to that of being anti-car in terms of transport policies in cities. I think these concepts including the “nuts to crack” list provided by the author is relevant not only to cities that want to promote walking and cycling over car use, but to individuals and groups as well who seem to be following a hard line when in comes to their advocacy to recover road space in favor of pedestrians and cyclists.
A friend based in Singapore posted a photo showing a poster promoting a ‘National Steps Challenge’. The objective apparently and obviously is for Singaporeans and foreign nationals living there to get into walking. The target, according to the poster, is 10,000 steps per day. There are even illustrations in the poster showing estimates of how many steps you can do at the home, the office or during your regular commute.
Such programs are exemplary and are aimed at boosting citizen’s health and welfare. Of course, Singapore can do this and many will respond even without rewards because Singapore has excellent transport infrastructure including an extensive public transport system and suitably designed pedestrian facilities.
Can cities in the Philippines come up with a similar challenge? Are there cities with good enough pedestrian facilities that can lead the way and become good practice examples in promoting walking; not just for the reason of commuting but also as a means to achieve better health among its citizens? Authorities can even include infographics on promotions showing the number of calories you can burn for typical walking trips as well as the health benefits one can derive from walking regularly. I think there are many cities that have decent infrastructure and attractive routes to promote walking. Among them are Vigan City, Marikina City, Legazpi City, Iloilo City and Davao City. Hopefully, these cities can take the cue from Singapore in promoting walking and perhaps, too, a national agency like the Department of Health can pitch in to promote this worthwhile cause for healthier lifestyles.