Caught (up) in traffic

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Daily Archives: November 6, 2011

Road crashes along Katipunan Avenue

Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City has claimed a lot of lives and injured a many more people over the past years particularly due to aggressive and often reckless driving or riding by motorists using the road. Especially dangerous is the section stretching from the flyover to the U-turn slot just after Ateneo’s Gate 2 since many vehicles tend to (over)speed from the wide overpass and unto the section fronting Ateneo De Manila University. On the other side of the road, motorists also tend to speed up towards the overpass, unmindful of vehicles shifting from the outer lanes of the road towards the U-turn slot. In many cases, some vehicles cross from the establishments along Katipunan towards the U-turn slot. These conditions significantly increase the likelihood of occurrence of road crashes.

This morning, I noticed during my drive to UP that the concrete barriers of the U-turn slot along Katipunan northbound were again witnesses to another crash. The driver was most likely speeding if not flying from the overpass and miscalculated on his/her maneuver upon discovering the barriers along his/her path as he/she descended the overpass. It was more especially dangerous this morning as I can imagine the pavement conditions as well as the visibility given the heavy rains pouring around Metro Manila since last night. I took a quick photo of the damaged vehicle just when a truck was maneuvering in preparation to towing the vehicle.

Honda City with damaged front bumper – the vehicle hit one of the concrete barriers of the U-turn slot with a trajectory indicating it apparently came from the direction of the overpass. After passing the vehicle, I saw that the left front wheel is already missing and apparently destroyed when the car hit the barrier. The damage to the car indicated tremendous impact and I just hope the driver and other occupants (if any) were wearing their seatbelts when the car hit the barrier. It would have helped also if the car had airbags. These safety devices are not standard issue in many if not most vehicles in the Philippines allowing dealers to make airbags optional and giving the buyer the false perception of getting the vehicle with a cheaper price.

When will motorists learn from such incidents? When and how will the MMDA or whoever is in-charge finally, effectively and decisively address this issue? Is it simply a case of speeding and something that can be addressed by enforcing speed limits? Or does the infrastructure and layout encourage such behavior among motorists? Perhaps we should rethink how we design and place U-turn slots and the barriers we use in the scheme. Otherwise, we will just see the same scene happening all over again at the cost of more lives and limbs.