Roads to Progress: Expected Changes Along Metro Manila’s Streets in 2012
With the resumption of work and classes around the Metro, we’re probably expecting (and we’re even seeing it in your reports on TrafficDito.com) the abrupt and let’s admit it, rather unwelcome greeting of traffic back on our streets. True, in the short term, we’re probably looking the same slow and brutal crawls through the streets we faced last year, but it’s good to know that things are looking up! Plans for the improvement of overall road conditions and the decrease of gridlocks we’re experiencing in the metro are being spearheaded by the MMDA and the DPWH. MMDA Francis Tolentino himself gave us a brief preview in an ANC interview done a few days ago:
Here are the traffic-related highlights of plans for the year 2012:
1. Digital Traffic Lights
Chairman Tolentino made a brief clarification regarding this. While the term may sound like we’ll be getting brand new high-tech traffic lights along the roads (the timed traffic lights along roads like Katipunan come to mind), what this actually refers to is the improvement in the signal infrastructure used for the traffic light system. The change from analogue to digital will actually be more felt in terms of the MMDA’s response time to inconsistencies in the system. Should there be adjustments in timing for example, that would need to be addressed, these can be corrected from a central control point, and would no longer require a technician to physically reset or adjust the actual light.
Expect more of these “mini-rotundas” on some intersections. These cheaper alternatives facilitate traffic flow without the need for any electrical systems in place. If any of you have passed the UP-Ayala Heights area, you’re probably familiar with what Chairman Tolentino was referring to.
3. C5 Flyovers, the ongoing Quezon Ave. underpass, and the NAIA 3 Extension.
If this is any indication of what’s to come, it’s probably going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
Bittersweet news for regular C5-bound motorists: there are plans to construct flyovers along this main road, at the Lanuza and Julia Vargas intersections. While it was mentioned that the roads would initially be widened should construction push through, it’s highly likely that this is enough to prevent heavy traffic in the area. If it’s anything like what motorists who pass along the ongoing Quezon Ave./Araneta Ave. underpass project are experiencing, it sounds like we’re in for some nasty gridlocks before we feel the relief these projects will supposedly bring.
I’m sure frequent flyers appreciate this proposed DPWH project. The NAIA 3 extension will hopefully decongest traffic by connecting the NAIA expressway and Roxas Boulevard along the Uniwide area. Kudos to the DPWH for addressing this bottleneck! Now if only something similar could be done for NAIA air traffic and all that time lost to delayed flights because of it.
Any improvement to this is without a doubt a step in the right direction.
Probably the most exciting of all plans revealed in the interview, this proposed bridge making use of estuaries (along the San Juan River) will supposedly reduce traffic by as much as 40%, according to this Manila Bulletin article. Here’s the big shocker: aside from the reduction in traffic along EDSA, travel time from Q.C. to Makati is estimated to go down to 15-18 minutes. If they can pull it off, it’d be nothing short of LEGEN-wait for it-DARYYYY. Imagine making it to the Sta. Ana racetrack from E. Rodriguez faster than it takes to finish an episode of Budoy. The MMDA is set to reveal the exact plans sometime soon. Fingers crossed for this one, for sure!
2012 has just begun and the promise of progress is in the air! Let’s just hope that these projects aren’t marred by the usual politics and delays we’ve almost come to expect. There’s way too much on the line this time around.
What do you guys think of all these? Are things finally looking up for Metro Manila’s traffic situation? Let us know in the comments!
-EJ, Product Marketing Padawan