Not So Pedestrian Lanes

“You know why pedestrian lanes are ignored? Because they’re boring. IXM together with the Pasig City local government aims to change that with these not-so-pedestrian lanes. 0% accident, 100% service!”

Looks amusing (Look down below at the end of this blog post!), yes. But for it to actually work? Probably not.

I can just imagine people crossing the street LOOKING DOWN and trying to figure out these hideous looking pedestrian lanes, while being oblivious to oncoming vehicles.

Hate to break it to you, guys, but people ignore pedestrian lanes because people tend to cross the road where it is convenient for them to reach their destinations efficiently. ‎”Boring” symbol for pedestrian lanes is definitely not the reason why it is ignored. The problem is really three way. Lack of discipline from both the pedestrians and drivers (that’s two); and weak enforcement of traffic regulations by the authorities (or worse is a twisted implementation of these for corruption).

Also, that is not the standard. We are a signatory to the Vienna convention on road traffic. Meaning we must follow the prescribed standards.

It is a novel and amusing idea but what authorities should be thinking is how to properly disseminate knowledge of the Law to both pedestrians and motorists altogether. Pedestrian accidents happen mostly because of people jaywalking and motorists not knowing that it is enforced by Law that they should do a full stop when people are crossing in the pedestrian lane. Ignorance of the Law is the problem that should be given priority. Aesthetics is one thing, but it does not resolve the main problem.

I watched something in the news and found out that a lot of drivers don’t even know what some road signs mean! Ridiculous, right? Authorities should make sure the drivers pass and really undergo REAL, HONEST, ACCREDITED training on driving and road safety, which would include following road signs and courtesies. DISCIPLINED and RESPECTFUL drivers equals less accidents.

Very creative campaign, though. At least, some groups are making an effort. For a change, forget the norm. …and maybe that’s all it takes for others to follow.

At least it’s not similar to what the other government agency, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), is doing.

To the MMDA: Threatening jaywalkers with death hasn’t worked! If you can’t discourage people from breaking the law, encourage them to follow it! This “not so pedestrian lanes” is a great approach, a great execution, and a great way to remind us of this age-old issue of Pinoys’ apparent lack of discipline done in a fresh light.

Whilst flicking through information and pictures of pedestrian lanes, I came across The Abbey Road album cover of the Beatles. The photograph they used for the album cover is the Beatles themselves walking across a zebra crossing or pedestrian lane.

The organizers of this campaign could recreate this picture using models dressed like the Beatles, or other famous personalities synonymous to the Philippines (maybe Manny Pacquiao could be one of them) then spread the pictures around online and link it to social networks and invite bloggers, TV and newspaper reporters for a press conference.

So the next step is to go out and find a quiet road with their “not so pedestrian lanes”, get the four influential endorsers to come along and pose in the same way in which the Beatles did for the advertisement, and then take different pictures from every angle. Think also of a catchy slogan that would mark a strong identity to this project…..and maybe, just maybe….people will start using that often ignored white paint on the street floor.

*Credits to social networking commentaries (optimists, pessimists, realists and opportunists – like me)

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