Bad pavements PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 05 September 2015 14:34

BEHIND  THE  LINES

BY BOB JALDON

Los Angeles, CA. — The “crumbling sidewalks long have symbolized the challenges facing pedestrians in this car-dominated city.” It was announced last week that L.A. plans to spend $1.4 billion on an ambitious 30-year repair campaign.

Aha, Zamboanga is facing the same problem. For one, there is no uniformity in our sidewalks or pedestrian pavements. Paving differs. Some are three inches high, some two inches. Some even one. The width varies. Some are three meters wide, some two and some none at all.

Two, they have one thing in common — dirty, muddy, slippery and stinky.

Three, there’s the tolerated vending by ambulant vendors blocking the pedestrian pavements. They are the untouchables because politicians fear them as they might be branded as MATA POBRE if they are driven away.

This is a problem festering pedestrians. Some sidewalks are in level with asphalted streets because dishonest contractors didn’t scrape off the old asphalt before pouring the newly cooked one. The effect? When it rains, water flows into some establishments because the streets are higher than the sidewalks.

Contractors, from Zamboanga or far, should be ordered to scrape the old asphalt clean off to where its original base was before pouring the new black lava. Also, our sweepers should be told not to sweep dirt into the sewers.

These are small things that can cost a lot in the future. Madre Mia, pedestrians are always looking down when walking.

The city government should allocated funds to uniformly pave our sidewalks. We’re not only a first class city, we’re a highly-urbanized city for crying out loud, Chico. Anything that is beyond the establisments’ property line belongs to the state and, therefore, becomes the state’s responsibility to keep the sidewalks neat and uniformly-paved.

It matters, because impassable, cracked and dirty sidewalks violate the disabled public access rights. Is there anything in the executive budget allocated for the repair of sidewalks of pedestrian pavements?

Come to think of it, there should also be a garbage disposal system to keep our city dainty at all times. Providing concrete trash bins in strategic sidewalks will help. People should be taught how to use the garbage bins PARA NO HAY QUIEN BUTA BASURA NA CAMINO.

I think the city government and the civic and service clubs can undertake this project jointly. They did it in Subic and Clark. It can be done in Zamboanga.

Ironically in L.A., it’s rewarding to have broken sidewalks. The L.A. Times reported that a “woman received $50,000 after claiming she was hurt because of a buckled walkway. City crews applied a patch of black asphalt over a heaving cement stab at the site.”

And I’m talking only about the sidewalks in the commercial district. How about residential sidewalks next to privately-owned homes? How will the city government deal with this? My friend, Engr. Luis Despalo, should lay out a plan for this because it forms part of Mayor Climaco-Salazar’s infrastructure equation.

And for my Tuesday  readers, the title of that column will be “Brother sun, Sister moon.” Abangan.