Manila’s Carriedo now open to motorists

Manila’s Carriedo now open to motorists
By Allison Lopez
Last updated 03:59am (Mla time) 08/02/2007

MANILA, Philippines – Streets are for vehicles, not vendors.


After opening the “pedestrianized” portion of Rizal Avenue to vehicular traffic last month, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim yesterday opened Carriedo Street in Sta. Cruz to motorists after clearing it of vendors’ stalls.


“Ang kalsada para sa motorista. Hindi pwedeng maglalagay tayo ng puwesto (Streets are for motorists. We can’t put stalls there). The Supreme Court has said that roads should not be used for commercial purposes,” said Lim as he addressed the vendors.


The mayor, however, assured stall owners that they would be given a square meter of space each on the sidewalk to allow them to go on with their livelihood. But the vendors’ loudest applause was for Lim’s announcement that he would not allow “kotong” (extortionist) policemen to prey on them. “We were just addressing complaints when we opened Avenida and now, Carriedo. This is for the interest of every sector,” he said.


Jeepney drivers, commuters and owners of business establishments in the “pedestrianized” portion of Rizal Avenue complained of poor business and heavy traffic when then Mayor Lito Atienza declared the area off limits to vehicles. It was reopened to traffic by Lim on July 14. Ann Amoroso, an employee of a meat store on Carriedo Street, also said that their sales were affected when the road was closed to vehicular traffic. Cases of snatching, she added, also became rampant in the area.


With the reopening of Carriedo, Amoroso expressed confidence that robbers would soon disappear in the area, along with sex workers who had made it their hangout.


Now that the 198-meter stretch of Carriedo from Rizal Avenue to Evangelista is free of obstructions, a famous city landmark can now be seen from afar—the Quiapo Church.


To further ease traffic in the city, Lim said Muelle del Rio Street, behind the National Press Club building, would be reopened to traffic on Aug. 15.


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