Morato Avenue is public domain — City Hall
() - July 11, 2003 - 12:00am
Quezon City Administrator lawyer Paquito Ochoa Jr. said Tomas Morato Avenue is a public domain, noting that the sidewalk development plan is part of the city government’s effort to improve the image of the area and give back the sidewalks to pedestrians.

"The city government has all the right to improve the area. We are not taking away most of the parking areas. We just want to implement measures to put order in the area," Ochoa told The STAR.

He said prior to the implementation of the project, the city government conducted a series of meetings with the business groups in the area.

He said they have always pointed out that the objective of the project is in consonance with the image of the area as a family-oriented destination in the city.

"That is precisely what the city government is doing. We are improving the area to put order in parking. We also want to protect the pedestrians," he said.

Ochoa said railings set up along some corners of the avenue is aimed in preventing double parking, noting that in the past vehicles climb over the sidewalk, blocking pedestrian flow.

"There are already talks with owners of vacant lots along sidestreets of Morato Avenue to convert these into additional parking areas with possible incentives for these owners," he said. "The development plan may also include lighting up of sidestreets and putting walkways toward Morato Avenue for patrons."

He said similar projects have been undertaken in Novaliches and Fairview with no opposition from residents.

Ochoa pointed out that the city government "is not and will not encroach into private property. We are concentrating works in the road right of way."

"The road right of way is not private property. This belongs to the public so why are they complaining?" he asked.

He theorized that maybe those who are opposed to the project are the restaurant owners, whose structures have encroached into the road right of way. "The MMDA is currently clearing the avenue of such encroachments, causing agitation among these people."

He also dismissed as baseless claims that business establishments are losing "because in reality business will boom in the area once the project is completed."

"Three years ago Tomas Morato Avenue had very few business establishments but now you can practically find all the fine restaurants in the area," Ochoa said. – Perseus Echeminada

AREA AVENUE CITY MORATO AVENUE NOVALICHES AND FAIRVIEW OCHOA PAQUITO OCHOA JR. PERSEUS ECHEMINADA QUEZON CITY ADMINISTRATOR TOMAS MORATO AVENUE
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