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EDSA footbridge once dubbed 'Mt. Kamuning' gains international attention online

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Jun 28, 2022 4:15 pm

It seems that the Kamuning footbridge in EDSA that once went viral for its steep design is making the rounds online again after it was noticed by a foreign diplomat on Twitter.

Dirk Janssen, Consul General of the Netherlands in San Francisco, posted a picture of the nine-meter-high steel footbridge on June 26. He called it out for not considering the well-being of pedestrians.

"There is no better way to make it clear to pedestrians that they don't matter," the translation of his tweet read.

Janssen's tweet, which gained almost 4,000 likes as of this writing, was then retweeted by statistician Peter Cayton.

"Transport policymakers in the Philippines are heartless and have no regard for pedestrian and commuter rights, much less for human rights," wrote Cayton, who is also an associate professor from the University of the Philippines.

"The sad thing: This was during the pre-pandemic period," he added.

The controversial footbridge first opened almost four years ago, back in Novermber 2018. The footbridge gained wide criticism from pedestrians because of its steep and sky-high design, which left many commuters exhausted and weak in the knees.

Back in 2019, two mountaineers climbed the elevated footbridge, which they dubbed "Mount Kamuning," wearing full gear and carrying backpacks and posed victory shots at the "summit" as a joke.

Netizens previously criticized the footbridge for being inconsiderate to commuters with disabilities, senior citizens, children and those who have vertigo.

The bridge had a P10 million budget for its construction. Celine Pialago, the former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson, explained the bridge was constructed in order to minimize cases of road crashes in that area, which totaled to 63 non-fatal injuries according to their 2017 accident report.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Rob Mclnerney, CEO of the International Road Assessment Programme, said that the footbridge is "ultimately not safe because not many pedestrians will actually use it".

"It might be a well-designed overpass but, ultimately, if it's not going to be used by pedestrians, then it can't be considered safe," he added.