Prophet of doom
Recently, we predicted the worsening of traffic on C-5 when the MMDA closed the U-turn slots and reopened intersections to traffic light control. Our basis was our experience in 2005 before Bayani Fernando imposed, first the hybrid No-Left Turn at traffic lights and U-turn slot system, then ramping up to a full U-turn system no traffic light regime. A journey from SLEx to Acropolis that used to take an hour, was cut down to 40 minutes when the U-turn system was imposed.
Goodbye Bayani U-turns
But now, with the return of the traffic lights, what used to take 40 minutes now takes 20-25 minutes according to Parañaque commuters to Eastwood. Granted that there is more traffic on the perpendicular feeder roads into Ortigas Center, at least you have less motorists clogging through transit traffic on C-5. What this also shows is that even after some 8 years of getting used to the U-turn system, albeit with 50% more motorists on C-5, our drivers are just simply bad at give-and-take lane merging, even if the road geometry under the Ortigas flyover has generous 2-lane U-turns good enough even for trucks. It is just beyond our genetic background to instinctly give way, unless we live in another time [Peacetime 1938] or in another country [Subic 1998]. As for Quezon Ave., the jury is still out if the re-opening of 2 junctions to traffic lights helped ease traffic.
What has worsened is the section where the traffic lights were restored at Miriam and Ateneo. There are just too many cars going in and out of the two major schools at all times of the day. With this we are not even certain that suggestions to set an open and closing schedule for left turns from Katipunan into the schools would work. Same applies to the No left turn rule, where left turning cross traffic will be diverted to use the old U-turn slots.
Bike like in Paris and London
In an effort to try other means, MMDA is also trying to promote biking from parking lot to campus for students so as to avoid too many cars going in and out of the Loyola grounds.
Decreased budget 2015
As always, the next problem is how to sustain the MMDA traffic management and traffic enforcement teams now that all the reopened traffic lights need more “boots on the ground”, considering that the MMDA, horror of horrors, has to operate on a decreased budget in 2015.