Wednesday, September 24, 2014

AdMU days: witnessing the beginnings of the MMDA's C-5 traffic light scheme

I've taken up a teaching assignment at the Ateneo de Manila University. This semester, I teach Biotechnology for Everyone, a course designed for non-biology majors. I'll write about my experiences from time to time.

C-5 Road is the route I take to go to the Ateneo because it's the fastest route to school. For years, the road has U-turn slots that a lot of people are not big fans of because these are associated with bottlenecks caused by vehicles occupying at least two lanes when making U-turns. The Metro Manila Development Authority, in response to the complaints of many commuters plying the C-5, decided to install traffic lights at intersections and to remove a number of U-turn slots.

On the first day of installing the road signs showing lane assignments, I couldn't help but scratch my head: Trucks were supposed to use the innermost lane. Vehicles that were supposed to take a left turn at the intersection were supposed to stay on the lane adjacent to the truck lane. If I were to make a left turn, how was I going to achieve that if trucks occupied the innermost lane? When the light turned green, these trucks would surely block any left-turning vehicle!

Somewhere near Julia Vargas Avenue, Pasig City (northbound)

Somebody's made a big mistake on that one, I thought. But it wasn't one road sign; all truck lane signs were like that along C-5! The good news was that the traffic lights were still not switched on so the truck lane assignments weren't in effect yet.

A few days later, I noticed that the truck lane and the left-turning lane got switched. This was more logical, I thought, since trucks going from NLEX to SLEX and vice versa wouldn't block vehicles turning left at intersections.

Approaching Eastwood, Quezon City (southbound) 
I was amazed at how orderly the traffic became after that. Admittedly, though, I'm not a fan of the traffic scheme as it's implemented along Katipunan Avenue because it has slowed the traffic down significantly. For instance, my five-minute drive has become a thirty-minute one... and that's on a good day. 

I hope that the traffic scheme can further be improved to ease the traffic in and around the city.