Better and safer pedestrian lanes were suggested to the Metro Manila Development Authority after it issued a reminder against jaywalkers along EDSA.
The traffic authority on August 4 posted footage from a surveillance camera showing commuters cutting through traffic to get to the EDSA Busway terminals.
The terminals featured in the video were in Guadalupe Station and in Ortigas Station.
In the video, MMDA cited the footage as a warning on the dangers of jaywalking along the main thoroughfare.
“Don’t risk your life for convenience! Huwag mag-jaywalk,” it said.
In the post, MMDA stressed that jaywalking can lead to road accidents and could cause death.
“Huwag makipagpatintero sa mga sasakyan sa EDSA! Ang buhay ay hindi parang isang video game na pag nabanggaan ay mayroon kang extra life. Pahalagahan at ingat ang inyong buhay, huwag mag-jaywalk,” it said.
Huwag makipagpatintero sa mga sasakyan sa EDSA!
Ang buhay ay hindi parang isang video game na pag nabanggaan ay mayroon kang extra life.
— Official MMDA (@MMDA) August 4, 2023
Access to bus stops of the EDSA Carousel Bus System is mostly through footbridges and MRT-3 overpasses.
Not all bus stops also have nearby pedestrian lanes for commuters to safely cross.
Several transport advocates pointed this out on the X platform (formerly Twitter).
“If the MMDA were concerned about people’s safety, they’d widen the sidewalk, put in a stop light, and a raised speed table so people could cross safely without the need to climb stairs and walk an extra 500m out of their way. Instead, they victim blame,” a Filipino posted.
“MMDA and LGUs always wanted to blame commuters for doing this. Did you provide graded pedestrians, crossings, and elevators for people with disability, senior citizens, pregnant, and children?” an online user commented.
The impact of street level crossing
A cyclist named Dekey Mabaya, meanwhile, shared a video that showed the steps commuters go through to get to the busway.
“Effects of bad infrastructure and planning last a lifetime, almost. Something about the infrastructure MUST BE CHANGED in order for people to safely and conveniently reach the bus station,” Mabaya wrote in his post.
Effects of Bad infrastructure and planning lasts a lifetime, almost.
Something about the infrastructure MUST BE CHANGED in order for people to safely and conveniently reach the bus station.
— Dekey Mabaya (@DekeyMabaya) August 4, 2023
Urban planning consultant Keisha Mayuga also posted pictures of highways from China, Jakarta and Argentina as proof that pedestrian-friendly highways work better.
“Instead of blaming pedestrians, maybe think about making it humanly possible to cross to the bus instead of seeing it as a dangerous game you think people do for fun. They just want to go home,” Mayuga said on the platform.
Instead of blaming pedestrians, maybe think about making it humanly possible to cross to the bus instead of seeing it as a dangerous game you think people do for fun. They just want to go home.
— Keisha Mayuga 🏳️🌈 (@Keisha_Geisha) August 4, 2023
Transport and mobility advocate Robert Anthony Siy (@goodkidbikecity) also remembered a transport design that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) proposed to improve EDSA.
“In 2020, DOTr presented a conceptual design of EDSA that featured an at-grade pedestrian crossing. Passenger behaviors, volumes, and destinations all indicate the need for street-level crossing,” Siy posted.
The ‘transformation of EDSA’ plan
In May 2020, the DOTr released a comprehensive plan for the road transport sector to cope and respond to the changes brought by the tough lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Included in this proposed new system was the “Transformation of EDSA: Design Approach” plan.
The conceptual designs of EDSA included at-grade or street-level pedestrian crossings, dedicated bike lanes and sufficient sidewalks for all road users.
As of writing, the pitches on a “transformed” EDSA have yet to materialize.