THE new Intramuros traffic program is being supported by the World
Bank in a bid to make the Walled City walkable or pedestrian-friendly, an official has told The Manila Times.
Elroy Rendor, a consultant to Intramuros Administration, said the newly implemented traffic program is actually a pilot program and part of a three-phase program designed by Integrated Transport Planning, which was commissioned by the World Bank.
Several individuals and quarters have expressed their opposition to the new traffic scheme, which took effect last Monday.
General Luna Street–a busy road where historic landmarks and institutions are located, including San Agustin Church, Casa Manila Complex, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, National Commission on Culture and the Arts, and Knights of Columbus–is now one-way from Muralla Street to Andres Soriano Avenue.
From Andres Soriano to Muralla Street, motorists will have to take the one-way Arzobispo Street, where among the landmarks are the historic San Ignacio Church ruins and the head office of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila.
Parking is no longer allowed at Plaza Roma, a small park in front of the Manila Cathedral, and along A. Soriano Avenue.
“But quick parking is allowed, like for two to five minutes just for loading and unloading,” Rendor said.
There are designated pay parking lots inside Intramuros.
Phase 2 of the traffic program is a plan to allow hawkers or sidestreet stalls, which will be implemented in the next two months.
Phase 3 is the establishment of transport loops where shuttle vans are accessible both to tourists and local commuters.
Among those who expressed surprise at the new Intramuros traffic program were Manila Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino.
“As early as February, we met with their representatives and we explained to them the three-phase program. They did not opposed the project then,” Rendor said.
He added that even Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno was informed, and just recently no less than Intramuros Administrator Marco Antonio Luisito Sardillo 3rd was able to talk to the vice mayor.