By Mike Frialde, October 15, 2013
The 33 barangays of Makati City are proposing a consolidated plan aimed at making the city’s streets walkable or ‘pedestrian friendly.’
The city’s Liga ng mga Barangay presented the plan at the recently concluded Makati Transport and Traffic Summit 2013.
Among their proposals submitted were the construction of wider sidewalks, designation of bike lanes, tree-lined streets, multi-modal transport systems, pedestrian malls and public parks.
Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay expressed his support for the vision of barangay officials to make the streets in every barangay safe for pedestrians and convenient for motorists as well.
“We welcome and support the proposals of the barangays that are intended to make our streets safe for both pedestrians and motorists. Being based on first-hand experience, their input will certainly be useful in the crafting of a new Transport and Traffic Plan and an amended Traffic Code for the city,” Binay said.
At the summit, the barangays also pushed for the standardization of traffic signages that conform with international standards. They said the signages must be able to provide warning to motorists, regulate and guide them properly. The uniform signages should also be able to inform the motorists that they are under the jurisdiction of Makati and governed by city and barangay traffic ordinances.
The Liga also presented the initiatives undertaken by some barangays, including the passage of ordinances enforcing one-side parking and one-way entry on selected streets to facilitate the flow of traffic and allow unimpeded access of emergency response vehicles, such as ambulances, fire trucks and police cars during emergencies.
Other barangays have also installed closed-circuit television cameras controlled by the barangay operation centers to monitor traffic build-up along major roads and enable them to immediately dispatch traffic teams to ease traffic congestion.
Also tackled in the presentation were prevailing concerns among barangays, such as the lack of parking spaces or garage that has resulted in rampant double parking and illegal parking on the streets. It was observed that new vehicle owners often do not have their own garage or parking areas.
The proliferation of variety stores has also caused obstruction on the streets and sidewalks, with ‘extended’ selling and storage areas taking up space intended for pedestrians and vehicles, thus adding to traffic congestion and putting pedestrians at risk.
Other transport issues raised by the barangays were the mismatch between the public transport supply and the demand, proliferation of many transport providers, limited loading and unloading bays, poor route coverage (public transport ply the same route leaving other streets not serviced) and need for regulation of emerging public transport modes.
It was noted that in order to effectively address these concerns, the barangays need to strengthen their coordination with concerned city government agencies, including the Department of Environmental Services and Engineering Department, particularly in freeing the streets of illegally parked vehicles and removing encroachments and illegal structures.
The barangays also need to closely coordinate with the Makati Public Safety Department (the franchising arm of the city government for tricycles and pedicabs), on the issuance of certificates of public convenience or franchise, and identification and apprehension of colorum units.
Other inputs of the barangays to the Transport and Traffic Plan include: enhanced public awareness campaign on road safety, strict enforcement of national and local ordinances, and continued studies on the effective implementation and management of traffic ordinances that promote public safety.