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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

MMDA Madness Continues

One has to wonder what goes through the minds of the people of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) as they continue to tinker with the traffic situation on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City.

Once more, without any prior warning or traffic advisory, the MMDA closed access to Ateneo's Gate 2 to those coming down from the Katipunan-Aurora flyover. Henceforth, drivers coming from the White Plains/C-5 area will have to go all the way to Gate 3 in order to enter the campus.

Yesterday was when it started. The line of concrete and orange plastic barriers extended past Gate 2, although the MMDA enforcers left a slot open, whether to allow those coming from underneath the flyover to exit to Katipunan, or to allow those coming from the flyover to access Gate 2 was not clear. Whatever the reason, by the time I reached Gate 2 coming from the Santolan U-turn, I made sure to stay on the leftmost lane so that I wouldn't be caught in the jam, but it was still slow going getting to Gate 3 and back to the grade school.

Today, when they closed even that slot, it was heavy traffic going to Gate 3, as all of the flyover traffic was attempting to funnel into Gate 3.

I wonder if the MMDA has something going with the oil companies, to force us to travel an extremely long roundabout route to get into the Ateneo. All in all, the winding way to the grade school, from the Santolan flyover to the Gate 3 and back to the grade school adds about 7-8 extra kilometers to my travel time. That's roughly 1 extra liter of gas that I would have to factor into my gas budget everyday; at the current bloated price of P50 per liter, that would be an extra P250 a week in order to cope with the situation.

What makes the situation worse is that there is no attempt to inform the public about these abrupt changes to the traffic management in Katipunan Ave.

Tomorrow, I will attempt to go underneath the flyover, to inch my way to the grade school, to see if that route will be easier on my time and gas.

But, I do wish that the Ateneo community speak up about the situation. We have to let the MMDA, its officials and its popularity- and election-hungry chairman know that what they are doing to the Katipunan area is unacceptable, and that they should find a better solution to this situation.

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