September 25, 2023

Sidewalks along the city’s central business district are up for a makeover in 2021 not only for beautification purposes but also for health and safety reasons as necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
City Planning and Development Coordinator Arch. Donna Tabangin said the city will pursue the repair, recovery, and improvement of sidewalks next year to make them unimpeded, safe, and convenient, as well as pleasing to the eyes.
She said part of the plan will be to require shops or stalls fronting the sidewalks to move their display or business areas by .6 meters from the walkways.
With the .6 meter setback, customers could be afforded space to transact or avail of products within the confines of the stores instead of occupying portions of sidewalks and impede the flow of people.
The sidewalk improvement project was started in 2019 by the City Engineering Office under City Engineer Edgar Victorio Olpindo using a P20 million allocation.  Another P20M was allotted for its continuation in 2020.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong included the project in the city’s priority list and worked out additional budget with the help of the Department of Public Works and Highways.
The CEO and City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña also collaborated with the DPWH District Engineering Office on the design of the walkways with the use of tactile technology.
The program of work covered by the P20-M allocation had been bid out for the installation of tactile surfaces, widening, resurfacing, construction of waiting sheds and installation of signages in various areas for implementation in 2021.
This will be continued as the city secured additional funds from external sources like the DPWH.
Olpindo earlier said they prioritized the project which covered more than 100 kilometers of sidewalks implemented in 2019 specifically along school zones.
The program has three prongs: sidewalk repair for existing walkways that are dilapidated; sidewalk recovery for those that are within the road rights-of-way but are encroached upon; and sidewalk construction for areas that have no existing footways.
In some areas, the office undertook partial recovery by designating a walkway with paint and symbols that signify that that strip is off limits to vehicles. – Aileen P. Refuerzo