EDSA corridor-Highway 54: Replan, remake, renew, redevelop and renaissance

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ARCHITECT FELINO A. PALAFOX, JR.

ARCHITECT FELINO A. PALAFOX, JR.

Highway 54, proposed by the American Corps of Engineers in 1945 and completed in 1954, used to be a beautiful tree-lined urban road, about 54 meters wide.

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The American Corps of Engineers proposed six circumferential roads and 10 radial roads for the Greater Manila Area. Highway 54, which was renamed Epifanio de los Santos Ave. (EDSA) in 1959, is circumferential road No. 4.

For the longest time, EDSA has notoriously been a reflection of what Metro Manila has become. Both EDSA and Metro Manila are experiencing the negative effects of a “do nothing” scenario and the use of the wrong models in urban planning. We have erroneously copied the car-oriented streets of Los Angeles and Hollywood after World War II, instead of pursuing the “City Beautiful Movement” that Daniel Burnham put forward when he planned Manila in 1905 and Baguio in 1909.

Fast forward to 1977. I was fortunate to be the Senior Planner for the World Bank-funded Metro Manila Transport, Land Use and Development Planning Project (MMETROPLAN). The recommendations in the MMETROPLAN considered the rapid urban growth that could affect development, including transportation and even flooding. Last week, I had the opportunity to converse with Transportation Secretary Art Tugade and the DOTr Team. As we both dwelled on the subject of transportation woes, we lamented that the complexity of the transportation crisis is a result of 32 years of little to no action to resolve the issue. What makes things more complex and difficult is that we are not starting from scratch. There are already structures in place. But again, I want to emphasize that we should not lose hope. I have all the reasons to believe that if this administration continues with its strong political will and visionary leadership with the aid of good planning, good design, and good governance, we will be able to alleviate the transportation crisis.

Reforming transportation and mobility: Three critical issues of the Land Use Plan

Transportation is the art of human motion, moving people through understanding their needs and behavior and how they are influenced by the plan of the city. The focus should be on moving people, not cars.

The daytime population of Makati CBD alone is 11 times the size of its nighttime population. This shows two critical social issues: most people cannot afford to live in the central business districts and the gated communities around Makati; and people cannot find at par opportunities where they live. In the case of transportation, it means moving at least 16 million people in and out of Metro Manila. According to our research Manila Megalopolis 2020, which I presented in Harvard, the daytime population in 2002 was 16 million while the nighttime population was 11 million.

1. Low-density housing and exclusive gated communities and military camps in Central Business Districts greatly increase land value because of scarcity, and significantly reduce the opportunity to increase the housing stock. For the meantime, these gated communities should open their roads during peak hours to alleviate congestion in EDSA. Also, instead of single-family homes that allocate at least a hectare of land per family, these subdivisions should allow multi-family housing.

2. Integrated Transportation and Mobility Plan is pedestrian- and mass-transit oriented, not car-oriented. Less than 10 percent of Filipinos can afford a car, the rest or 80-90 percent commutes. Yet the orientation of our roads heavily favors car users, while in fact majority of the citizens demand better mass-transit systems, walkability, and bikability. We need a Bus Rapid Transit, Jeepney Rapid Transit, and elevated walkways and bike lanes that connect people to other modes of transportation. There should also be pedestrian and bicycle bridges every 800 meters across Pasig, San Juan, and Marikina Rivers.

3. Government should heavily invest in schools, health facilities, and infrastructure in other regions to act as counter-magnets to the congestion of Metro Manila. Development has a cascading effect, for business to grow outwards Metro Manila. There should be good laborers available and good infrastructure in place. At the same time, government should push the North Metro Rail that will connect Manila and Clark. As well as the Mindanao Metro Rail that will connect the entire Mindanao.

Reimagine, replan, remake, and reform EDSA
I urge you dear readers to learn more about Cheonggyecheon stream restoration in Seoul, South Korea. It used to be their EDSA-like highway that was completely removed to make way for urban and ecological renewal. After making it pedestrian and mass-transit oriented, the economy of Seoul grew, urban temperature significantly decreased, and traffic was decongested. There were naysayers and doubters, but they were all proven wrong. It has become a national symbol of progress and ecological sustainability, and it is drawing millions of tourists yearly.

One of my suggestions is to pedestrianize EDSA. Build an elevated, covered, and hopefully air-conditioned walkway and bicycle path. We need to make walking comfortable and safe, and we need to make it appealing and aesthetically pleasing, compared to our poorly designed pedestrian passes today.

Walking is much faster than riding a car in EDSA, especially on a rainy Friday-payday. Vehicular movement is at three kilometers per hour while the average walking speed is five kph. With many high-rise developments mushrooming along EDSA, each developer should also provide an impact study on traffic.
 
Good citizenship
For this part there are three words that can sum it up: Discipline, Discipline, Discipline. Without this, we become lawless, unmindful of the chaos that we are contributing too. Discipline should also be backed up with good urban planning and environmental design, engineering, enforcement, and education.

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47 Comments

  1. Mr. Palafox, where have you been?
    Where were you when metro manila had been building?
    They should have been addressed long time ago.
    Now, we are almost helpless in solving our problems.
    Too many heads nothing done!
    We are just a bunch of dreamers and no action!
    Typical Filipino traits!

    • Mayette Akehurst on

      Nobody take notice of Mr. Falafox suggestions, whoever design and implemented the roads structure in the Metro Manila doesn’t care, as long as they got the money from the government whether it is substandard work. Most of the Roads work are substandard, contractor left the road open with a pothole that create accident to happen mostly and it is not a Surprise!!! You have to Blame it to whoever Department in the Philippines handle this infrastructure of Roads, Bridges etc. In short no good planning!!!!

  2. hahahaha and hahahaha ok sana peo ang tanong: gagawin ba ng gobyerno ang mga proposal na yan “p_tang ina” inde ah. . .

  3. Dear Mr. Palafox,

    I am a retired OFW who had worked in the De-Bottlenecking of several oil & gas plants of ARAMCO and petrochemical plants of SABIC in KSA. Below is my take on:

    De-Bottlenecking the Metro Manila Traffic Gridlock

    EMERGENCY POWERS. The President needs this law ASAP not in December 2016 or beyond.

    DOTr and its affiliate offices especially the LTFRB and the LTO must immediately implement the items A to O below by legally taking authority including permits and documentation for all traffic related activities from ALL LGUs in NCR, Central Luzon and CALABARZON.

    The LTFRB must declare all transport franchises NULL and VOID in order to reconfigure all transport routes. PRIORITY NUMBER ONE is the traffic routes reconfiguration of EDSA, Quezon Avenue and Roxas Boulevard on or before November 15, 2016.

    The LTO must institute demerit system for the Privilege of using driving license in the Philippines. Enhanced the contactless apprehension.

    A. Eliminate all traffic lights, u-turns and cross-traffic along the following major roadways, from end to end:

    1. EDSA: from Monumento Roundabout to MOA Roundabout

    2. C5: from NLEX Cloverleaf to SLEX Toll Plaza

    3. Sangandaan/C4/Radial Rd 1/Roxas Boulevard: from Monumento Roundabout to Cavitex Toll Plaza

    4. Rizal Avenue Extension/Rizal Avenue/Taft Avenue: from Monumento Roundabout to EDSA

    5a. A. Bonifacio Avenue/G. Araneta Avenue: from Balintawak Cloverkeaf to Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard
    5b. A. Bonifacio Avenue/Dimasalang/Governor Forbes/Quirino Avenue: from Balintawak Cloverleaf to Roxas Boulevard

    6. Quezon Avenue/Espana Boulevard/Quezon Boulevard: from Quezon Circle to Lawton- Liwasang Bonifacio

    7. Commonwealth Avenue: from Quezon Circle to Quirino Highway

    B. Passenger bus routes must be BRT System with schedule and timetable under one bus company or consortium for each major roadways in A above, among others for easy monitoring and communication, and accountability. Provincial buses are prohibited to load and unload passengers along these major roadways: these buses must one and only stop inside Metro Manila is in their respective company bus terminal.

    C. Passenger jeeps must also be under one cooperative for each area encompassed by these major roadways, among others for easy monitoring and communication, and accountability . The “Ikot system” like the one in UP Campus must be imposed, wherever possible.

    D. Prohibit all passenger jeeps, tricycles and motorcycles on all major roadways in A above, and must be two to three street corners away from these major roadways to avoid congestions, and to provide easy access by vehicles to/from secondary streets. People must learn and appreciate the walk of two to three street corners to get their tricycle or passenger jeep ride.

    E. To eliminate the free-for-all “pasada” and for safety and security reasons, all passenger buses and jeeps must have the following installed and operational at all times with franchise cancellation as the only penalty:
    1. Speed Limiter
    2. GPS
    3. RFID
    4. Dashcam with real time recording

    F. The DOTr must install the necessary infrastructure to guide and monitor the real time traffic situations like traffic cameras, GPS and RFID trackers at each passenger bus and jeep stop. Mobile device traffic apps must also be provided to the general public.

    G. Regulate motorcycles in these major roadway just like in NLEX and SLEX. Assign secondary streets if possible exclusively for motorcycles and bicycles: north to south, east to west and around each area encompassed by these major roads.

    H. Assign all 10-wheeler trucks and trailer (Semi) trucks to major roadways in 2, 3 and 5a&b and specified secondary streets.

    I. Build more bridges across the Pasig and Marikina rivers, also across some creeks. Assign some bridges for bicycles, motorcycles and pedestrians.

    J. Construct road-traversing flyovers, underground tunnels, and roundabouts wherever needed on 24/7 work schedule. As much as possible, PRE-FABRICATE all flyovers and elevated roundabouts.

    K. Eliminate or lessen occurrence of floods by:

    1. Constructing FLOOD-CONTROL GATES by along Manila Bay, NOT INLAND. The MMDA Flood Control in Guadalupe-San Joaquin along Pasig River and the Manggahan Flood Control between Marikina River and Laguna de Bay must be ALWAYS IN OPEN POSITION. All these FLOOD-CONTROL GATES should ONLY BE CLOSED whenever there is the possibility of STORM SURGES.

    2. Dredging of Pasig River, Marikina River and other rivers & creeks connected to the Manila Bay and/or Laguna de Bay.

    3. Dredging the Laguna de Bay – revisit that cancelled project with a Belgian company. Expand the scope for a circular road as wide or wider than EDSA and a lower depth of the bed of Laguna de Bay for longer time till the next dredging operation. Suggestion – limit the total area of all fish pens equal to only 10% to 15% of the bay. Talim Island should be assigned to DOTourism for conversion to Eco-tourism destination together with the ferry boats from Pasig and Marikina Rivers as after items no. 2 & 3 above would make water transportation possible.

    L. Hire more experienced Filipino engineers preferably OFWs – Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Industrial, and IT learned and conversant with International Standards in Roads and Railway Engineering.

    M. Upgrade everything from Philippine Standard to Japan or US Standard. Let us step forward to the 21st Century.

    N. Procurement: Simplify the Bid Process. Use ARAMCO or SABIC Bid Process as reference. Exclude contract price escalation during project duration. Contract duration must be absolute. Include strict and punitive contract penalty clause, cash penalty and blacklisting of companies and/or persons. Every particulars of all project contracts from Bid Process, During Project Execution and Project Completion must always be available for public review in DOTr website.

    O. Railways and Illegal Settlers & Affordable Housing

    First thing, take stock of old railway lines properties and definitively make census of all illegal settlers along the railways from Tutuban to Ilocos Region, to Nueva Ecija and to Bicol Region. The definitive census must be made by the HUDCC, LGUs and NSO; Include all illegal settlers in Metro Manila.

    1. NORTHRAIL Project: Convert the project to an Elevated LRT NORTH from Monumento in Caloocan to Guiguinto, Bulacan Old PNR Junction.

    2. Construct the NORTHRAIL Lines – Line 1: from Guiguinto Junction to Ilocos Region, Line 1A: from Line 1 (TBD by PNR) to Clark and to Subic, and Line 2 from Guiguinto Junction to Nueva Ecija.

    3. SOUTHRAIL Projet: Convert the project to an Elevated LRT SOUTH from the Existing PNR Central Office/Station near Mayhaligue Street to Los Banos, Laguna.

    4. Construct the SOUTHRAIL Lines – Line 1: from Los Banos, Laguna to Bicol Region and Line 2: from Los Banos, Laguna to Batangas Port.

    5. Cooperation between HUDCC and PNR must be forged to construct livable and modern housing and a two-lane road (for bicycles, tricycles, pedestrians and motorcycles only) UNDER the ELEVATED the LRT NORTH and the LRT SOUTH for all illegal settlers in accordance with the records of the definitive census, payable according to HUDCC/PAG- IBIG Plan.

    • The Philippines needs people like you. You should contact Mr. Tugade and offer your expertise. OFWs ang pagasa ng Pilipinasnot only in monetary remittances. The experience outside the Philippines also is a big plus. Pang International Standard ang kaliber.

  4. Here’s a consolidated list of practical proposals from various sources on how to solve the traffic problem. These measures are mix of short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions. We believe all these measures need to be done or started simultaneously with no exception for a long-term and sustainable solution. Otherwise, we will just have patch work that will be ineffective in just a few years.
    http://dodongakakakiko.blogspot.com/2016/05/proposed-traffic-management-plan.html

  5. When are you going to start Sir? I have been waiting for that for many years already. Have you started in any way you could Sir? How can we land from your plan? Have you tried presenting that to the pertinent government agency? Can you go ahead please to go the government pertinent agency, because the government seems to be very relaxed yet? Thank you!

  6. You guys have to see Dubai development. Things happened quickly and not over analyze by incompetent people such as politicians. Lets not over analyze a simple problem with a simple solution.!!!!

  7. Very good ideas. The traffic problems of Manila and other cities are not just problems related to roads. More comprehensive urban management is really needed. Cities need to manage their populations better – in terms of housing, employment, education, healthcare – to get to the underlying problems of transportation and crime.

  8. I believe the most viable solution is good citizenship, but, probably it will take a generation to accomplish it. Traffic matters should be taught starting in grade school class for the incoming generation. You can not discipline the existing Filipino adults because violations of rules became a way of life in the Philippines.

    Other solutions: Introduce a subway system. Eliminate jeepneys, use surface transit such as buses. Put more elevated subways where they are needed. Divide the routes of Taxis into different limited areas. In Manhattan NY extreme high volume of traffic is not a problem. Surface sys must be for buses and limited taxes only. Tricycles must not be allowed to run among main thoroughfares. They must be allowed on secondary streets only. The terminals of the provincial buses must be located where the buses will not interfere in the traffic flow on the center MManila

    I feel sad that almost all vehicular accidents in PH creates fatalities. Getting a drivers license in NY is not easy. The Philippines must copy the system in NYC how to get a drivers license. That sys is the first step to discipline the drivers. Years age when I was in college in Manila that never happened. For example from San Andres Rotonda to MAPUA it talk only less than 30 minutes. Few fatal accidents happened in those days. It was a disciplined Philippines.

  9. How about following the “Coritiba Brazil Model” where the city avoid using trains. Instead it uses the Dedicated Roads concept. This is a lot cheaper. It cost only 15 percent compared to flyover and subway. It means buses have their own roads separate from private cars. This idea was made by Mr. Jaime Lerner an architect and later become the mayor of Coritiba, Brazil. His idea is used in several cities like Bogota Colombia, Brisbane Australia, Guangzhou China and many more. Please check more info from Youtube.
    I made this suggestion cause I realize the horrible traffic condition in Metro Manila. Also this concept is applicable to Phil. considering how poor our country is.

  10. Mr. Palafox is one of the top architect consultants of Dubai and he knows his stuff. We do not need too many consultants. He is one of the best if not the best architect in the world. I am proud of him as a Filipino living in Dubai for many years till now. Let him implement the three recommendations that will solve the traffic problem in Metro Manila..

  11. “Discipline, Discipline, Discipline.” NO! NO! NO!
    It’s EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE.
    You can not have discipline IF YOU DON’T KNOW THE RULES.
    before asking me to be disciplined, EDUCATE FIRST: specially, LTO personnel, traffic enforcers, even government employees, They must know the traffic rules religiously. If they know the rules, they will know when a violation is committed AND will be more authoritative when disciplining me. I will follow because I know that they know the rules.
    SUBIC is my example. There may be other towns or cities, where discipline is the norm. I hope more follows.

  12. Why not follow what the Indonesians did in Jakarta? They built and elevated ring road around the Jakarta metropolis with strategic entry-exit points.

  13. PRESIDENT FERDINAND E. MARCOS is still the best President that the Philippines ever had. But the other Presidents after did not have his leadership qualities nor the visionary character a President should have.

    Worse, they did not act on the plan.

    May President Duterte have a whiff of President Marcos’s leadership excellence and work on this.

  14. solutions to this traffic mess is to:

    1. there are so many bus companies plying around EDSA, it’s better to reduce it to 2 companies
    2. too many companies and corporate headquarters are centered along EDSA, why not relocate some to alabang business center and other places far from EDSA?
    3. widen up also some major thoroughfares, like Shaw, Quirino hi-way, etc. the government should not only concentrate its study on EDSA,
    4. too many vehicles are to blame.
    5. discipline. why not private companies man traffic?

  15. If Mr. Palafox’s firm has been involved in the design and planning of projects anywhere in and around the Metro Manila area in the last few decades, then he has been part of the problem too.

    Discipline, discipline,discipline. Well said, this does not cost a centavo. If only the majority of the drivers (public and private) and pedestrians will observe the rules of the road.

    • That’s ridiculous and unfair statement to one of the best architect in the world! Mt. Palafox follows decision from the leadership and not the other way around.

    • Tingnan mo sir director ang pagkakadesign sa Fisher Mall – palpak! Traffic parati ang kanto ng Roosevelt at Quezon Avenue particular doon sa mga sasakyan papunta Roosevelt from Quezon Ave.

  16. Manuel Enicola, Jr. on

    The government, esp. Sec. Tugade, should listen to this plan. Daunting and terrifying, yet it provides hope for a seemingly dire situation. The affluent stakeholders along EDSA should also be concerned; otherwise the whole stretch would eventually turn to urban blight and decay if no action is taken. This will mean loss of land value for the owners.

    On the other hand, I would recommend placing all jeepneys and buses in an exclusive median lane, fenced off with openings for pedestrian crossings and stop not more than 800 meters apart ala-BRT. This is the ONLY WAY to partially decongest our roads from errant drivers and passengers. (Think: balagbag and stops every 10 meters). Where roads are constricted, these must be for exclusive public utility vehicle use only; while private vehicles must be diverted to parallel roads.

    On the other hand, land developers must come up with a “passenger movement plan” within their developments before being given government approval. This will prevent further urban sprawl. Cul-de-sacs must be banned and pedestrian walkways across blocks must be in place to encourage walking and discourage car ownership.

    My two-cents’ worth.

  17. So why can’t we have a publicly owned metropolitan transportation system that integrates rail and buses like
    other countries in Asia?

  18. A comprehensive Rail/Subway netwok is LONG OVERDUE.

    Just look at the MRT LRT network and compare to Singapore or JK and one can see the solution to Manila’s mess.

    Our nighbors have solve our problems a long time ago.

    • Singapore? They may have a better railways but how can you compare 5.7 million population and an 11-16 million? Compare also the car/bus volumes on sg streets to MM, the difference is too big. We may need to increase the MRT/LRT coaches in order to cater the needs of our mass riders. Aside from these, we need self discipline.

  19. Its good to know that DOTr and you (Sir) is talking to each other, perhaps understanding that Filipinos should learn and start applying urban planning/planners (like you), modern technologies in re-inventing, redesigning and building city infrastructures that as you said are people mobility friendly. I agree with what you said; BRT, JRT series or network of skyways, well lit, design (air conditioned) walkways–an intervention through building infrastructures to counter the undisciplined Pinoys specially the bus and jeepney operators, drivers and pedestrian as well. Sir, (also) is it not possible to build roads along the Pasig River on both sides with trees and plants planted and with bicycle lanes along the river banks? or a monorail using (maglev technologies). Built a low cost mass housing like HDBs of Singapore (not that modern yet) with lots of open spaces on ground level for mobility of people living within or around the area (and not to go through the main road) just to go to other units or buildings.

  20. I salute your mr. palafox..You are the one needed by the Present administration for the messy done by the previous adminstration..for our infra and development. They do nothing zero.. after 30 years….. God Bless Philippines..and to you Mr. palafox.

    • Engineer Larry Luna sir, Mr. Palafox loves to make statements to media outlets so that his design firm can get projects. BTW, he will not work for the government – he’ll lose money!

  21. Good one from Mr Palafox. However I was also expecting recommendations from him to help prevent or help minimise this traffic problem in other progressive parts of the country. None was given.

    One factor sticking out is the problem of squatters beside our roads and highways. This is true in the alleyways of Paranaque and am guessing to the smallest towns of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Google Earth has been showing several streets in Paranaque which after zooming in, you will find the street/s have been blocked by shanties. Google must have had the town plans as a source of the street info. Why governments after governments allow compensation and relocation of the squatters is beyond comprehension.

    Another is town planning, zoning and its non-existent implementation by local authorities. Look at the width of barangay roads anywhere.. Will firetrucks be able to pass through? No. The locals knew that fact. But then look at their road maintenance and concreting activities.. DO they address the identified problem? NO. Concrete is laid always narrower than the path for reasons only God knows.

    The third or probably the foremost problem then is the people. A great majority of the population does not care and relegate to the government and others his/her street problems. Mr Palafox, we need to educate our people too.

  22. ELIODORO M. PONIO on

    Jun Palafox is great planner. He should be given a “frontline” position in the Duterte administration. He is an architect who is bot honest and competent.

  23. I completely agree, having an elevated, secured, lighted and if possible, air-conditioned walkway along the whole stretch of EDSA will give our people a healthy option, rather than be immobilized in traffic.

  24. decongest it to the 1980 level and the metro will be livable again. if not, no amount of redevelopment will restore the old glory of the place. best to go back to the province!

  25. The government must tap Mr. Palafox for his tremendous expertise when it comes for urban planning. We must utilized his projects and programs and be funded by the government.

  26. It’s only in the Philippines where can one find malls, giants malls, on its major roads and highways, like EDSA.

  27. Lastly I forgot and must add with finality, that Palafox failed to consider the problem of resonance, simply speaking bridges have collapsed because a large group of walking people have created harmonic frequencies with their steps, like soldiers marching in cadence, that have shaken stone bridges to pieces. Many such procession bridge disasters are documented in history, I am surprised Palafox did not think of this danger being a reputable architect (engineer?). Even today its SOP in the military to order columns of soldiers to break formation into small groups to cross a bridge.

    Whereas a cycle lane with rubberized and smooth wheels rolling eliminates this problem.

    • Manuel Enicola, Jr. on

      Bridge resonance is always considered in the design phase and can be “cured” by damping; that is adjusting the natural frequency of the bridge outside the excitable range. This can be achieved by design and materials used. The so-called SOP military order to break cadence is mandatory since it is highly probable that soldiers will be crossing impromptu bridges or quick-built temporary structures that were erected without the luxury of time and analysis.

    • Leo capurictan on

      Red Planet.. is this what you want to emphasize? Palafox is discussing problem in a wide picture and your discussing a tiny picture of maybe you encounter in your tiny neighborhood. This will cover in a detail design. His on the overall design.

      I am surprise to that you are commenting on military parades or walk in the metropolis. will they parade in the bridges or flyover? common sense.

    • Did you not read, I suggested an elevate bike lane instead of walkway, and also a subway electro-bike lane as an alternative MM (not small community) solution, bike wheels provide the damping you need to keep the bridge from shaking to pieces. You could not have read the rest of it because somehow it was erased from the comments. Also the means to how this can be practically funded and accomplished, if elevated malls or land development all over or (above) EDSA highway itself is permitted by gov’t on condition of building this elevated walkway, and e-bike subway. The air space above EDSA highway and underneath it is the only available untapped large real estate left in the center of MM.

      It may sound trivial to you but a few thousand people crossing the Colgantes bridge during the Penafrancia procession (parade) in Naga resulted in it’s collapse and more than a hundred dead. The (modern) New Millennium Bridge in London in 2014 was in danger of collapse during a large procession of people, when it started to sway and vibrate dangerously. The EDSA walkway will have to accommodate hundreds of thousands if not millions of pedestrians simultaneously during rush hour. Now don’t take my word I came across this from the articles in LIVE SCIENCE and NATURE

      _____________________________________________________________________

      Why Do Soldiers Break Stride On A Bridge?

      In April 1831, a brigade of soldiers marched in step across England’s Broughton Suspension Bridge. According to accounts of the time, the bridge broke apart beneath the soldiers, throwing dozens of men into the water.

      After this happened, the British Army reportedly sent new orders: Soldiers crossing a long bridge must “break stride,” or not march in unison, to stop such a situation from occurring again.

      Structures like bridges and buildings, although they appear to be solid and immovable, have a natural frequency of vibration within them. A force that’s applied to an object at the same frequency as the object’s natural frequency will amplify the vibration of the object in an occurrence called mechanical resonance.

      Sometimes your car shakes hard when you hit a certain speed, and a girl on a swing can go higher with little effort just by swinging her legs. The same principle of mechanical resonance that makes these incidents happen also works when people walk in lockstep across a bridge.

      If soldiers march in unison across the structure, they apply a force at the frequency of their step.

      If their frequency is closely matched to the bridge’s frequency, the soldiers’ rhythmic marching will amplify the vibrational frequency of the bridge. If the mechanical resonance is strong enough, the bridge can vibrate until it collapses from the movement.

      A potent reminder of this was seen in June 2000, when London’s Millennium Bridge opened to great fanfare. As crowds packed the bridge, their footfalls made the bridge vibrate slightly. “Many pedestrians fell spontaneously into step with the bridge’s vibrations, inadvertently amplifying them,” according to a 2005 report in Nature.

      Though engineers insist the Millennium Bridge was never in danger of collapse, the bridge was closed for about a year while construction crews installed energy-dissipating dampers to minimize the vibration caused by pedestrians.
      _______________________________________________________________

      If you noticed in the article it does not say makeshift or impromtu bridge, but long bridge, say as long as EDSA and to think millions will be crossing it daily at the same time, there had better be guaranteed a lot of damping built into it or else…

    • It’s typical Filipino attitude to neglect the safety deigns aspects as “small unnecessary details,” if Palafox had considered damping important he would already have mentioned it because it is the number one problem in his walkway.

    • LEO CAPURICAN you needs a dose of common sense yourself if you have to ask will they parade on the bridge or flyover. Duh? like yeah, people parading are pedestrians walking, is there a difference?

      Expect hundreds of thousands or even millions crowding on Palafox’s elevated walk way putting great stress vibration on a congested area wherever the Pope or Miss U is expected to motorcades EDSA, also the same scenario during INC gathering or indignation people’s power rally, political campaign rally’s, mid-night mall madness etc.

      Gov’t already allows stupidities like closing highways for some fun run cause or marathon and even New Year street party, so expect the same to be done with Palafox’s skyway pedestrian walkways, that could become the longest outdoor tiange, flyovers being a favorite of ambulant vendors.

      Will damping solve everything you think, just like the engineer that boasted the Titanic unsinkable, the devil is always in the details and ironically the greatest concern is not structurally integrity, but crowd management. People in crowds are dangerous mindless herds, they panic and stampede. A mass of people can be spooked by a bomb going off, earthquake real or imagined, starts a mad panic to get off or jump off before it collapses, trampling fellow pedestrians. Before you know it you have a repeat of the 1972 Colgantes bridge disaster in Naga with 100+ dead, or the 2006 Ultra Stampede with 73 dead and 400 injured.

      I would not want to walk to work on this pedestrian skyway, ex. the distance from Cubao to Makati, it is not time practical or energy practical to do. But I would consider using an skyway bike lane.

      Anyway I still hope such a pedestrian sky lane is built, because once the people management problems emerge someone like me will be there to suggest it be converted to a sky way bike lane.

  28. Oh I also forgot to add, the elevated cyclist lanes could be angled so that the cyclist can coast with minimum peddling power the full length of EDSA, provided an escalator to the embarkation peak ramp.

  29. As I commented before and I would like to repeat again, Arch. Palafox MUST be given a position in the present government. His bright ideas, if given consideration, would really transform this chaotic Metro Manila into a beautiful, clean, livable and people friendly place.

  30. Palafox should be given a more influential position in government where his expertise in urban planning is more extensively utilized.

  31. Perhaps an elevated “travelator” with walkways beside it. If the whole length of EDSA have this system, it will be much better than the expensive options.Hopefully the new govt will welcome the advise of Mr. Palafox.