Monday, August 18, 2008

Katipunan Traffic: The Tricycle Factor

. Caption: An MMDA sign on the footbridge infront of Ateneo de Manila University in Katipunan.

Caption: Tricycles in the vicinity of Katipunan and Xavierville Avenue.

Note: Today (18 Aug 2008) I monitored a news article in Philippine Inquirer Online about tricycles and Katipunan traffic. Below is the link to the article and its contents:

Tricycle ban at Katipunan Ave draws complaints

By DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 18:46:00 08/17/2008

MANILA, Philippines--Tricycles have been banned from plying the stretch of Katipunan Avenue by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, drawing complaints from transport operators, students and residents.

In another attempt to ease traffic on the busy thoroughfare, the MMDA began strictly enforcing the tricycle ban on Katipunan Avenue last Friday, saying tricycles led to even worse traffic in the area.

But Alex Baay, president of the Loyola-Pansol Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association, said the ban drew complaints from passengers and residents especially those headed to the Ateneo de Manila University or Miriam College.

"A lot of passengers are affected, especially students. They have to walk several meters just to go to the other side," he said in a phone interview.

Baay said he, along with barangay (village) and transport leaders, sought a moratorium on the tricycle ban with Quezon City Vice Mayor Herbert Bautista, who was the acting mayor in the absence of Mayor Feliciano Belmonte Jr., in a recent meeting.

But nothing was set in the meeting, as the MMDA had yet to respond to their written request, he said.

Baay added the erratic traffic policies of the MMDA, such as rerouting schemes and the closing and opening of U-turn slots -- not tricycles -- have been causing the traffic gridlock in the area.

But MMDA Traffic Operations Center Executive Director Angelito Vergel de Dios disagreed, saying tricycles were a big factor in the traffic situation on Katipunan Avenue.

"They're not supposed to be there. They affect traffic. They obstruct passing vehicles all the time when turning corners," he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer, parent company of

Vergel de Dios added that the MMDA was only enforcing an existing tricycle ban on national roads.

He also said the agency also reopened a U-turn slot in front of Miriam College to help ease traffic "in the middle of C.P. Garcia and Aurora Boulevard."

Vergel de Dios said that as of Sunday, the MMDA's proposal to change the entry point of Ateneo from its Gate 2 to Gate 3 still remained under discussion by the school board.

The MMDA proposed restricting entrance to the campus to its Gate 3 instead of Gate 2 in order to prevent bottle-neck traffic there.

Motorists, most of them parents of students, have assailed the MMDA for its rerouting schemes, which they claimed turned the area into a cause for road rage because of traffic gridlocks.

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