Traffic crawls along roads near Skyway 3 site

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Malacañang on Tuesday assured the public that traffic management plans are now in place as motorists and commuters brace for a traffic gridlock due to the construction of major road projects across the southern Metropolitan Manila.

Presidential Commnuications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) have prepared plans to address the problem, including road widening and rerouting schemes.

At the same time, the government encourages motorists and commuters to adopt “voluntary remedial measures” in coping with heavy traffic.

He said these could include community carpooling and company flexi-time and home office arrangements.


“Voluntary remedial measures such as community carpooling and company initiated flexi-time and home office arrangements for affected employees can contribute to easing traffic congestion,” Coloma told reporters in a press conference.

“We would rather focus for now on the voluntary measures because these are more effective and involve what the concerned parties want to do,” he added.

The construction of the 14.8-kilometer Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway Phase 2 projects started Monday night, and is expected to worsen metropolitan traffic in the coming years.

However, Coloma asked for patience from the public, saying that the construction of such projects would only cause “short-term inconvenience.”

“We renew our call that we share in the burden of sacrifice, and bear with the short-term inconvenience, so we can reap the benefits of faster travel and higher productivity,” he said.

“We should also recognize that many of our people are willing to do the necessary sacrifice that is needed and they are willing to bear with the inconvenience. This is not the first time we had issues involving major projects like this,” he added

Traffic began hitting gridlocks on Monday night near the project sites and even along some proposed alternate routes.

The MMDA has proposed the alternate routes for private vehicles as the Skyway Stage 3 construction went on full swing on Tuesday.

For Southbound:
• Along President Quirino Avenue, turn left at Roxas Boulevard, right at Senator Gil Puyat Avenue, left at Macapagal Boulevard to point of destination

• Along President Quirino Avenue, turn left A. Mabini, straignt to F.B. Harrison, right at EDSA, to point of destination

• Along President Quirino Avenue, left at Leon Guinto, straight to P. Zamora to destination

• Along Pedro, turn right Tejeron, right at Don Chino Roces Avenue to point of destination

• Along Pedro Gil, turn right at Onyx, left at Zobel Roxas, right at Kalayaan Avenue, right at Don Chino Roces Avenue to destination

The Skyway 3 will connect the North Luzon (NLex) and South Luzon Expressways (Slex)lwith an elevated expressway over Osmeña Highway, which links Slex with Manila’s Quirino Avenue.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said they are expecting a traffic gridlock during the construction of Skyway Stage 3 as two lanes (Southbound) of the Osmeña highway will be closed to traffic.

“If we close two lanes of the Osmeña highway, the travel speed will be reduced to 10 to 19 kms. per hour from the current 30 to 39 kms. per hour,” he said.

The construction of the project is expected to run for at least two years.

Traffic from Makati City, including that along the southbound part of Osmeña Highway near San Andres, has started to be affected by the closure of two inner lanes of the Osmeña Highway.

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  1. If your want more traffic, build more roads. If you want less traffic, build fewer roads and give extensive areas of the city back to people. Progress cannot any longer be judged by how many roads you build but by how you create a city for your people.

    Jan Gehl is perhaps the most celebrated urbanist alive. His books have been published in every major language and they sell like hotcakes. Why? Because they suggest a new paradigm. One of cities for people. To often, he says, architects and planners look at cities from the sky. They forget what they will look and feel like on the ground. Cities built like that don’t succeed. He says such places are infected with “birdshit architecture”.

    The world’s most advanced cities and some developing cities are becoming the world’s most liveable cities. New York. Melbourne. Curibita. Copenhagen. Hanover. To name but a few. In San Fransisco, decked highways are being demolished to create urban boulevards.

    The world’s most liveable cities are being created based on the understanding that mankind’s favourite sight is that of other people. We love people watching. People watching turns into economic, social and environmental success. It turns cities from concrete jungles into places people want to live in, where independent businesses, the lifeblood of international cities thrive and grow. Where people are healthy, active and above all happy.

    The ingredients for such cities are large areas given over to pedestrian traffic. Proper networks for cyclists of all ages. Good transit systems. Building frontages that animate the street with windows and doors. Not big ugly roads that create soulless concrete jungles.

    Who do the concrete jungles appeal to? Only those vested interests who make money out of concrete and asphalt, only car manufacturers. Yet it is perfectly possible to meet the vested interests of everyone in a society that also has high car ownership. It’s just that people need to drive less. A lot less. And not just while the next road is being built, but forever.

    Car sharing, using the metro, all sorts of good ideas are coming forward as a solution to the current traffic problems. These are the right answers for a city that puts people ahead of traffic and understands that this is not a symbol of backwardness but one of wise planning for the people of all ages and resources. A combination of these methods and the right conditions for their use are critical for Manila to become a world liveable city. Just ask Jan Gehl.