Raised Cebu sidewalk dangerous to elders, kids
In my eagerness to immediately read the novels of Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, after reading the news report on the rumored current boyfriend of Spain-based Filipino socialite Isabel Preysler, I “brisk-walked” one kilometer from my rented condominium unit in F. Cabahug Street to go to a bookstore in Ayala Center in Cebu City. And I almost stumbled on the steep, one-foot-high sidewalk were it not for my reflex in regaining balance, aided by legs shaped by a daily 30-minute walk and joined to a 60-year-old body. Cebu City is, of course, the Queen City of the South, with an array of attractive beaches and mushrooming high-rises. It is a highly urbanized city but still with the feel of a provincial, halcyon setting.
When I transferred work here in mid-June, coming from Cagayan de Oro City (which is fast becoming an economic powerhouse in Northern Mindanao), I noticed the ongoing sidewalk project around Cebu City. Using bricks, a finished sidewalk looks aesthetically pleasing. But its height of more than a foot would be a big challenge to the elderly and schoolchildren. And it certainly poses a danger to those walking tipsy in the dead of night.
I felt so bothered by the possible danger and harm these sidewalks pose to the limbs of pedestrians that I felt constrained during a recent, brief family vacation in Beijing, to measure the sidewalk there. Along Gongren Tiyuchang, North Avenue, near the corner of East 2nd Ring Road and along Nan Chang Street beside Tiananmen Square, the sidewalks had only a height of 18 centimeters, lower by 20 cm than Cebu’s 30 cm. In Manila, along Padre Faura Street, the sidewalk height is only half a foot.
The old sidewalks in Cebu had an acceptable height. Presently, they have been made steeper because the bricks were placed atop the old sidewalks.
The concerned Cebu City officials should take into account the danger posed by the steep sidewalks and not be overly concerned with aesthetics.
—EDWARD B. CONTRERAS, [email protected]
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.