In my opinion, Barangay Kapitolyo (Pasig) is one of the best places to live in Metro Manila. Filled with intriguing restaurants and cafés, the neighborhood is conveniently located in a nice middle ground in the metro.
However, it isn’t perfect and it has glaring issues that need to be addressed. So, here are five mobility problems that plague the community.
1. Pedestrians are second-class. Walking is one of the best ways to explore the neighborhood, yet no proper sidewalks exist. The lack of a safe space for pedestrians means people often have to be on the road directly beside motor vehicles. And that isn’t a pleasant experience.
The worst spot is the main gate, where both people and motor vehicles experience great difficulty getting in and out. Not only is the road congested with cars going to and from the Kapitolyo-Shaw intersection, but the sidewalk is ridiculously narrow and obstructed.
Crossing the street is also unnecessarily risky as you can never be certain if oncoming cars will slow down for you at the designated crossing. It’s worse at the intersection of East Capitol Drive, West Capitol Drive, and United Street.
There, vehicular traffic is prioritized over foot traffic, especially during rush hour. So, it’s the people that have to yield to cars, even those in the pedestrian lane.
2. Speeding is prevalent. As said before, Barangay Kapitolyo is a living space, not an expressway. Motor vehicles don’t have any business going any faster than 30km/h. In fact, some of the inner residential streets have an even lower speed limit of 20km/h.
Yet, there are motorists who still choose to drive recklessly fast on roads where people walk, children play, and animals roam. I personally witnessed a motorcycle rider hit a cat on my street because he was going too fast and didn’t even notice that there were two felines right in front of him.
There were also times when drivers were in such a rush that they would counterflow to try overtaking me while I was trying to turn left. In the end, drivers like them don’t save any time and only endanger everyone else.
3. Parking is problematic. Space is limited, and there’s nothing that can be done about that. So, while there are several places of interest—including our office—good luck finding a spot to park your car.
In one sense, street parking is essential for the many businesses in the neighborhood such as those along East Capitol Drive. But in residential areas, it only makes it harder for drivers to see people and animals.
And it deprives residents of space that they should be able to enjoy. Also, when the garbage truck comes to collect trash, don’t expect to be overtaking it with the double-sided street parking.
Implementing a “No Garage, No Car” policy would outrage the many homeowners who can somehow afford multiple vehicles but not a proper garage. Bottom line: We can’t just leave the streets littered with all these automobiles.
4. West Capitol Drive is a mess. This street is arguably the worst stretch in Kapitolyo. Not only is it steep, but it is also filled with
craters potholes. And thanks to the BGC bridge, it’s congested to the brim—even at night until the gate closes at 10pm. In spite of the increase in traffic, it seems the authorities have no intention of fixing the road.
5. There are just too many cars. We all need automobiles at different points in our life, but having too many of them on the road isn’t healthy. Traffic gets horrible to the point where walking to get around the barangay is even faster.
More cars also mean more noise and air pollution. And when you combine these with people who drive with no regard for the safety of others, the neighborhood will gradually become unlivable.