If your workplace is a less than an hour’s walk away, it’s better to ditch the jeepneys and buses and take to the streets. Walking to the office, after all, is good exercise — it strengthens the muscles and builds your endurance. Moreover, it’s a great way to save. The small amount you save every day will pile up considerably over a couple of months.
The idea, at least, has merit. Putting it into practice is a little different. Walking to work is a challenge in the Philippines because of the country’s poor road infrastructure. Often, walking down the streets in city centers puts people’s health and safety at risk.
Walking Constraints in the Philippines
There are at least three problems that deter Filipinos from walking to their workplace: the lack of walking infrastructure, pollution, and traffic violations.
First, city centers, especially Metro Manila, fail to provide good walking spaces. The lack of ample sidewalk space forces pedestrians to step on the road. The narrow spaces also put people at a greater risk since they’re closer to the passing cars. Some streets have faded pedestrian lanes and broken traffic lights, as well. This makes following the designated pedestrian areas difficult.
Second, workers who walk to their offices are more exposed to pollution because of the unclean air and trash-littered streets. Apart from the health hazards, pollution also soils uniforms and make workers look unpresentable.
Third, many pedestrian and motorists do not abide by traffic rules. This makes the streets dangerous for everyone involved. People who haphazardly cross the street or stop cars can cause other vehicles to swerve to the sidewalks. Drivers who don’t respect pedestrian lanes, counterflow, or block pathways also compromise pedestrian safety.
Establishing a Walk to Work Culture
Despite daunting constraints, there’s still hope to establish a walk-to-work culture in the country. Residential developments are spearheading this effort. For instance, as Lancaster New City properties review by Land Price List says that the development offers workplaces near the residential areas.
Moreover, pedestrians and motorists should follow traffic laws to ensure safety. Lastly, people need to encourage authorities to make the necessary infrastructural changes.
It takes a lot to brave the city streets when you’re rushing to work. You’ll face all sorts of hazards and pollution. But people don’t have to subject themselves to the traffic situation all the time. By working together, pedestrians, motorists, and the government can make the Philippines a walkable country.