‘Talking lanes’ for PWDs
Not your ordinary pedestrian crossingBy Niña Calleja |Philippine Daily Inquirer
Coming soon to selected intersections in Quezon City and Pasig: Pedestrian lanes equipped with an audio warning device to make it easier for the blind and other persons with disabilities (PWDs) to cross the street.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced Sunday that it would soon open PWD-friendly pedestrian crossings in the two cities which have the biggest number of differently-abled persons compared to other areas in Metro Manila.
According to MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino, the project is in line with today’s observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities as he noted that the lack of proper pedestrian lanes for PWDs in major roads in the metropolis has made it difficult for them to travel.
In addition, he cited the numerous cases of PWDs who had been apprehended for jaywalking because they could not use the ordinary footbridges for pedestrians.
Tolentino said that initially, the MMDA would open three PWD-friendly pedestrian lanes—two in Quezon City and one in Pasig City.
These will be at the corner of Aurora Boulevard and JP Rizal Street in Proj. 4, another near Isetann mall, both in Cubao, Quezon City; and at Santolan Road corner Marcos Highway in Pasig City.
All three will be equipped with an audio warning device which looks like any ordinary traffic sign except for the loud speaker attached to it. A recorded voice will prompt pedestrians when it is safe to cross the street.
“With the introduction of these PWD-friendly pedestrian crossings, we hope to
inspire other local government units and the private sector to come up with more programs for the welfare and development of disabled persons,” Tolentino said in a statement.
In line with the program, the MMDA will open several exhibits Monday featuring prototypes and photographs of the latest PWD facilities and innovations available in various government offices, schools, roads and footbridges in Metro Manila as part of the celebration of the International Day of PWDs which is commemorated every year pursuant to a United Nations Resolution adopted in Oct. 14, 1992.
On top of this, MMDA traffic personnel will undergo a sensitivity training on PWDs’ rights and privileges.
“We will teach our traffic constables how to deal with PWDs especially [when they cross the streets and get] on a public utility vehicles,” Tolentino said.