Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Feedback on the MMDA Experimental Traffic Scheme in Katipunan

Below is an article published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer that I have monitored recently:

Katipunan rerouting by MMDA draws flak from motorists
By Jeannette Andrade, DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:55:00 08/09/2008

"MANILA, Philippines – Motorists, most of them parents of students in campuses along Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City, lashed out at the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for its rerouting scheme that they claimed has turned the area into a virtual breeding ground for road rage by worsening traffic problems in the area.

Surging blood pressures and chaos, they claimed, have become daily fare for motorists who pass through Katipunan Ave. on their way to the Ateneo de Manila University, Miriam College and the University of the Philippines.

The resulting gridlock has angered motorists like Gary de Jesus who proposed that the MMDA discuss their traffic schemes with the school officials in an e-mail he sent to fellow motorists, saying the agency should have warned those affected by the implementation of the changes.

He also suggested additional U-turn slots for the thousands of vehicles that use Katipunan Ave. leading to the campuses of the three big schools in the area.

A fuming parent responded to the e-mail with a scathing piece on the “propensity of the MMDA to experiment with not-so-well-thought-of schemes that have to result in chaos before they are finally scrapped.”

The parent cited what he said was a simple law of physics that no two things can occupy a single space, pointing out that a single U-turn slot beneath the flyover at the boundary of Quezon and Marikina cities cannot accommodate all southbound lane vehicles.

The MMDA, however, defended its decision to reroute traffic, saying the scheme benefited more commuters than inconvenienced others.

“What we’re doing is for the greater public, not just those who live in subdivisions,” said Roberto Esquivel, head of the MMDA’s traffic enforcement unit.

He said the majority of the complaints came from homeowners in subdivisions like Xavierville and La Vista, and not from regular motorists. “Traffic especially on the southbound lane sped up significantly,” he said.

“Those who complain about the rerouting scheme should realize that Katipunan Ave. is not a subdivision road. It’s a national road. The MMDA, not the subdivisions, has the authority to implement traffic schemes as it sees fit,” Esquivel said.

MMDA Traffic Operations Center director Angelito Vergel de Dios, however, said the agency would study the complaints. “If we have to abandon the scheme, we will do so. We’re here to improve traffic, not to worsen the situation,” he said.

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