[Blueboard] Closure of Gate 3 crossing

Czarina Saloma csaloma at ateneo.edu
Mon Apr 12 17:50:12 PHT 2004

Dear Everyone,

I have crossed Katipunan Avenue with the help of an MMDA personnel a
number of times and every time I wished I was presented with a more
decent and safer way of crossing. The MMDA personnel stations himself in
the middle of the street, waves at speeding cars to stop, and then
motions to the pedestrians to cross. This formula works only when groups
of people are crossing. However, if only one or two happen to have a need
to cross the street, the experience is far from pleasant. 

Having MMDA personnel around to help members of the Ateneo community cross
Katipunan Avenue from Gate 3 is not a good idea. Neither is constructing
a new footbridge near Gate 3 from public funds when an existing
footbridge is just about a hundred meters away. Why do we insist on
crossing at that particular point? Unwillingness to let go of old habits
and preference for comfort and convenience are ruining Metro Manila:
people do not want to walk, preferring to drive; they do not want to
climb footbridges, preferring to run for their lives. 

The Ateneo community is far more organized and has more capabilities than
the rest of Metro Manila to ask for privileges such as MMDA personnel and
footbridges. We should however recognize that most of Metro Manila has a
much more urgent need for footbridges. The situation at Gate 3 at the
moment does not require the Ateneo community to assert its interests and
needs as we already have what we need: two footbridges hundred meters
away from Gate 3. As Ms. Lara Mendoza has pointed out in an earlier
email, we should start developing a culture of walking. What Ateneo
should therefore do is to upgrade access to the “National Bookstore” and
“Miriam” footbridges (e.g., safe/guarded, landscaped/ shady, lighted at
night footpaths). 

The present MMDA is trying to find solutions to our urban condition. Let
us be more differentiated in our analysis of society and recognize not
only the negative points of the MMDA (e.g., endangering crossings,
cutting down trees in certain areas) but also the positive things they
have done in Metro Manila (e.g., easing traffic flows, landscaping of
certain public spaces). 

When public structures are in place, Filipinos will choose to behave in a
decent way. The present situation at Gate 3 is however not about the lack
of structures but about the attitudes of people. Let us recognize that
individuals who still conflate the public and the private derail the
project of developing a sense of urbanity in Metro Manila. Let us all aim
to have structures that consider the everyday realities of people (since
Metro Manila public structures are seldom constructed by studying how
people actually use space), but let us also know when to consider public
issues over personal troubles. 

Dr. Czarina Saloma Akpedonu

> Please post. 
> Greetings.  As of the afternoon of April 12, 2004, the MMDA has placed
> signs 
> along Ateneo's gate 3 and Miriam's main gate prohibiting pedestrians
> from 
> crossing.  No MMDA or police are there to help pedestrians.  As of
> 3:30pm of 
> April 12, 2004, people still dare to cross the street despite oncoming
> traffic.  So far, no arrest for jaywalking and no accidents have
> occurred.
> Do we have anything to say about this?  If you do, or want to hear what
> others 
> are saying, log on to the discussion forum at QuickTopic for the "MMDA
> traffic 
> schemes along Katipunan Avenue, QC". To join in
> (or just to read) use your web browser to go to:
> http://www.quicktopic.com/26/H/yMBXUKkqehtG
> Someone has already posted that the MMDA may have pushed through with
> its 
> scheme along Katipunan because it may have perceived a lack of opinion
> among 
> the stakeholders (users and affected persons) in the Katipunan Avenue
> issue.  
> Is this true?
> Please pass on to those you think will be affected.  Thank you.
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