Philippines Makeover

From a distance, we ask...'tang'na, why not? Learn about our nation, then dream up a better Philippines with Google Earth, SketchUp, and all things possible in the virtual. Render a bridge. Share lessons. Take/make a tour. Bridge investors with Pinoy producers and manufacturers. Questions, visions, delusions welcome.

    Uy! Google Earth Philippines: Google Earth ekek for Pinoys!

      Tuesday, June 20, 2006

      :: Hmmm...

      So I booted up Google Earth and found that Metro Manila is finally being rendered in high-res. Yehey. Was showing my daughter the roof of our house back in Quezon City, when I found myself wondering if it would be possible to map a walking/jogging/bike route from Marikina to North Triangle. Not that I do much walking/jogging/biking in MM. I'm not even based there nowadays. (Am writing this from Bangkok, which explains getting misty-eyed over yero in QC.) But like many Metro Manilans, I've always recognized that QC and Marikina have the last remaining patches of green in the metropolis, though they're as isolated and disjointed as the 7,100 islands that make up the whole country.
      Consider what's at the heart of these green stepping-stones. QC Memorial Circle--OK, so it's not a circle, as Google Earth clearly shows. Oweno?--is literally an island moated by six or seven car lanes. And yet, what's right there literally on the other side of the street, just outside the circle? Parks and Wildlife and Veterans Memorial Hospital leading to North Triangle, the UP Arboretum leading to Iglesia ni Cristo, Philcoa leading to UP Diliman.
      And beyond that?
      Here's my brainstorm: what if we could walk/run/pedal our way from Marikina Riverbanks to North Triangle without having to mind a single car? Carlos Celdran says it ought to be possible to create such a pedestrian lane from Escolta all the way to Luneta, and after taking his tour, I absolutely believe it. Meantime, I remember running a 10K route mapped out by the UP Mountaineers and which dragged me from Diliman to Katipinan, Ateneo de Manila High School's football fields, up over a wall that got us into La Vista, down into Grand Villas, back up through the Balara Filters grounds, and back to the Diliman academic oval.
      Point is, I guess these things are possible if you know how to thread the streets and warrens of a poorly cobbled metropolis.
      So anyway, I was looking at Google Earth, and I realized that it should be possible to literally link Bayani Fernando's riverbanks to Henry Sy's SM City.
      Not quite a Sketchup effort yet, but here's what I can dream up using GoogleEarth and Photoshop at least. Crudely executed but hopefully you get the idea. For now happily naive when it comes to land rights, money, zoning, etc., I can see a pretty wide potential greenzone by looking at Marikina-Loyola-Diliman-Quezon Circle-North Triangle as contiguous areas.
      Considering that --save for Ateneo, Miriam College, La Vista, and Grand Villas--these are mostly public lands we're passing through, how feasible is this? With land-bridges (in red) as the most expensive delusions here, Metro Manilans (or at least QC and Marikina residents) can dream up a network of pedestrian paths (in white) that can have them jogging/walking/biking from Marikina to North Triangle (and Tandang Sora, Philcoa, Ateneo, Miriam, UP, Balara, Loyola Grand Villas, and La Vista along the way.)


      Blogger Urbano dela Cruz said...

      Isn't bayani fernando building bike corridors? (I think there's one that takes the xavierville-kamias route.)

      I also remember a lot of informal bike groups who would take day trips up to antipolo. -so there's a natural route there. (perhaps without facilities)

      I'm all for ped/bike routes. though I'd much rather require ped facilities on ALL our main streets.

      as to trail systems - urban planners always ask two questions: how will we make sure it's safe? and who will maintain it? -the second is a policy question, the first is a design (and route issue).

      there's also an effective distance (not all the users will be pro runners) - . it would be better if there were landmarks within 10 minutes (walk time) of each location.

      as to land bridges - I would rather slow down the roads near the crosspoints (pedestrian priority) - but if that's not possible, then the cars should go below grade. -bringing pedestrians and bikers up
      are last option -only because you create new security issues when you have people cross above eyesight of the rest of the road users.

      this is a great idea for a blog!


      6:27 PM  
      Anonymous Anonymous said...

      great idea indeed, the blog I mean.


      10:03 PM  

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