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Carantes street rehab to see motorists share road with pedestrian

KALYE CARANTES. Artist adorn the walls of Tiong San Bazaar and the Development Bank of the Philippines of scenes at one of the most famous city streets, Carantes, during the 60s until the 80s. The portion painted on as seen in the photo is a wall of the now Tiong San owned building and was the site of the former Fun House and before that a hotel. The city is now undertaking development works at the street that once finished can be used both by pedestrian and motorists. Photo shows Blas Pagadian putting the finishing touches on a store which sells tapuy and momma, which artist like Jason Dumling enjoy chewing. Pigeon Lobien

Carantes Street will become one of the firsts in the city that will be considered under the urban design concept where pedestrian and motorists share the same roadway.

This is the city’s vision which the offices of the City Planning and Development, Engineering and Environment and Parks Management are implementing that started with the rehabilitation of the street’s drainage canal that sometime emits bad odor.

Carantes in particular, once called a backstreet, due to the honkytonk bars that offer “diyes diyes” (10 centavos) for gin, is undergoing rehab works. The rehab works came after the introduction of street arts or mural that offer a glimpse of its past including sidewalk vendors who sell newspapers, peanut, shoe shine boys, and even tobacco and momma (betel nut).

A similar work transformed the Kilometer Zero park into an open space that will allow anybody to sit on the concrete benches there and donated by Tiong San Bazaar.

The eight meter wide road will be reduced to 3 or 3.5 meters that will allow motorists to pass, while the remaining portion will be used by pedestrian as the three city offices, according to City Council information officer Jordan Habbiling, “hope to create a ‘pleasant environment’ where people will be involved in different social, cultural, and tourism activities.’”

Habbiling further reported that the rehabilitation of Carantes Street “includes the incorporation of tactile blocks; rehabilitation of the existing drainage;and the installation of solarized road studs, solar powered bollards, chair bollards, solar power lamp posts, steel grates for water run-offs, and a temperature box scanner.”

Meanwhile, the portion of Perfecto Street along the Kilometer Zero Park will also be installed with solar powered road studs and solar powered lamp posts, while a grandfather clock will be placed in one of the mini-gardens, Habbiling added.

Habbiling’s report added that the design will incorporate a bioretention drainage system.

Also included in the development is the conversion of the space underneath the overpass abutting the TiongSan Building into a ramp for persons with disability.

He said that CEO’s Engr. Dominador Matbagan has clarified during the City Council’s regular session last October 24 that “the development does not intend to permanently close Carantes Street to vehicles, contrary to the claim of a concerned citizen who had earlier called the attention of the city council.”

During the same session, Matbagan clarified that the two streets will not be fully pedestrianized since they are used as service roads leading to some major roads in the Central Business District.

Added Matbagan during the session “that a window period will be given to business owners along Carantes St. for the loading and unloading of their merchandise.”

He added that said project is also considered as a traffic calming measure, or the use of any physical design or other measure that will deliberately slow down the speed of vehicles in order to ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians.

Habbiling added that the city council has urged the CEO to conduct a study on the impact of the project to the flow of traffic in the vicinity to ensure that it will not contribute to traffic congestion. Pigeon Lobien

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