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Opinion

EDITORIAL - Before pedestrian lanes, fix the sidewalks

The Freeman

Citing the number of people being apprehended for jaywalking, the Cebu City Council has requested the Cebu City Transportation Office and the Cebu City Traffic Management Coordination Committee to install more pedestrian lanes to help people cross traffic safely.

This is indeed a good move. We would like to point out there are areas where people should be allowed to cross that have no designated pedestrian lanes, forcing them to second-guess and needlessly risk their lives. Those pedestrian stoplight counters that give people mere seconds to cross the street --if at all they work-- is another issue entirely.

However, there is something else the city can do that can make it easier for pedestrians to navigate the city’s streets, especially the downtown areas; have a standard for the sidewalks.

You only have to take a look at the downtown area to see that sidewalks aren’t exactly user-friendly to those not used to navigating them. Some sections are wide others are so narrow, some are at a certain height accessible by steps, others are so low that’s where water accumulates during flooding.

Some sections have a gradient to them that makes them hard to walk on. There are also places with wide gaps between the road and the sidewalk, making these parts dangerous for those who cannot leap far, never mind persons with disabilities.

In others areas the sidewalks feel so unsafe pedestrians feel safer walking on the road itself, adding to the risk of accidents.

Setting a standard for sidewalks --or at least making them uniformly safe to a certain degree-- won’t be easy; not all shops and storefronts are located the same distance from the street, many of them are not even on the same level. But this is something that needs to be done.

The sidewalks have long been an issue before the lack of pedestrian lanes came along. This problem should be addressed with the same urgency.

SIDEWALK

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