Thursday , May 6 2021

MMDA defends the "ladder to the sky"

THE ALABA HEIGHT The Matterá footbridge was built in Edsa-Kamuning was mainly found critically, mainly because of its height. -JAM STA ROSA

THE ALABA HEIGHT The Matterá footbridge was built in Edsa-Kamuning was mainly found critically, mainly because of its height. -JAM STA ROSA

Better climb a "ladder to the sky" than to cross the "road to hell," the Metropolitan Development Authority of Manila (MMDA) said Tuesday, which defended the P10 million steel gateway built in Edsa-Kamuning in Quezon City.

The structure that seems daunting for people with disabilities, the elderly or those who are afraid of heights is expected to end in the middle of the month.

Stopgap measure

Located near Manuel L. Quezon University, the catwalk is assumed to be a stopgap measure to avoid accidents on one of the busiest roads in Metro Manila, said the MMDA spokesman, Celine Pialago.

She pointed to MMDA data that showed that at least 10 accidents occur in the area every month.

"Pedestrians are too laxatives or lazy to seek safe tracks," said Pialago. "That is the best commitment we could make, instead of allowing them to simply cross Edsa. What matters to us is public security."

Most netizens, however, have suggested differing. After the gangway photos became viral in social media, many of them called it a security and safety hazard.

Most traditional walkways have a flat single route. Some are made of concrete and have a roof to protect the people of the elements.

The Kamuning gateway, on the other hand, has an inclined path almost 45 degrees.

At its highest point, stand at least three meters over the cables of the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3).

The design was necessary because MRT 3 tracks between the GMA-Kamuning stations and Quezon Avenue were almost the same as the road. If that section was high, this would allow the gateway to be built below.

There is no aerial protection

The critics also pointed out that the structure of the steel is fully exposed without aerial protection.

Pialago explained that the MMDA wanted to prevent it from being used as a refuge for wanderers or as a hunting ground for muggers.

If the MMDA had its way, he said, the gangway would be concrete. But the lack of funds from the agency usually means having the resources you have.

"We can assure the public that the bridge is as safe as it can be," he said. "But if you still think it's too risky, then I suggest you pass another 500m to the left to cross the Timog bridge, or the additional 500m on the right to cross the Quezon Avenue. Here is where you should be crossing first."

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