Among the more unusual names for a road is one that connects Quezon City in Metro Manila to Rodriguez (formerly Montalban) in Rizal Province – the Manila Gravel Pit Road. It is also known as Litex Road, which is referred to in many bus signboards plying the Fairview / Novaliches routes. The following photos were taken around the same time the other photos along the Batasan-San Mateo Road, Montalban Highway and Payatas Road were taken and so comprise a series of posts.
There are a few picturesque section of the road owing to the presence of greenery on both sides of the highway. There are also efforts here and there to improve drainage. One concern though is the lack of pedestrian facilities forcing people such as the woman on the left to use the carriageway instead.
There is significant truck traffic along this road. In particular there are many dump trucks (the rigid 3-axe types) traveling along the road for the primary purpose of transporting garbage to the nearby Payatas dumpsite. Prior to the focus on the dumpsite, the road was named as it was because of it being used to haul gravel from the quarries in nearby San Mateo and Montalban.
One will see many trucks parked along the road and still with their loads. Some truckers will try to salvage items they could sell to junk shops like scraps of metal, bottles and plastics that they are able to sort from their loads. What remains will be taken to the dumpsite where scavengers will have their chance to pick on whatever are left that probably has value.
From a road safety perspective, the road section fronting the school is unsafe for students as there are no pedestrian facilities, road markings (zebra crossing, rumble strips, etc.) and traffic signs (school zone, speed limits, etc.)
More trucks parked along the road beside informal junk shops put up by informal settlers. Many truckers also live in the area where many informal settlers are tolerated by the local government. These allegedly translate into votes during election times.
Approaching Commonwealth and the Fairview area, lands on either side of the road are occupied by informal settlers that hide the formal residential subdivisions in the area. Many structures have occupied what could have been pedestrian sidewalks and buffer zones between residential areas and the road. The situation is exacerbated by roadside parking.
The higher grounds of the Batasan area is visible in the horizon. This road section is conspicuously wide (4 lanes) and we chanced upon passing through while there was light traffic. Note also the more formal structures on either side of the road though pedestrian facilities are still lacking.
More junk shops along the road with some selling second (or even third) hand materials that can be used for construction. Many become the “building blocks” of shanties in informal settlements in the area.
Most sections have poor pavement conditions due to truck traffic and the lack of a proper drainage system. Water eventually seeps beneath the concrete layer and weakens the foundation (sub-base) of the pavement.
A sign that is not so easily seen informs travelers they are approaching Commonwealth Avenue. Also, have you noticed that the tricycle in this photo is also present in most of the previous photos? This is proof of the long ranges of such tricycles serving the area and competing directly with jeepneys with fixed routes. They are also among the many that violate a fundamental law that prohibits tricycles along national roads. Perhaps if this were a rural area, they could be excused but this is part of the urban jungle and so its obvious that the local government is at fault for not regulating their operations.
The road intersects with the Batasan Road just before the junction with Commonwealth Avenue. Near the Litex-Batasan intersection are all sorts of vehicles (jeepneys, AUVs, trucks, cars) parked along the roadside or at vacant lots plus tricycles lined up along informal terminals right on the streets.
More efforts are obviously needed to improve road safety along this road, particularly to encourage walking along areas better suited for such rather than being dependent on tricycles or pedicabs. The road is used by a significant volume of trucks, most of which carry solid waste or garbage collected from different parts of Metro Manila. Such freight are themselves associated with risks including their potential spillage and could contribute to pollution due to leachate from the usually wet garbage collected and hauled by the trucks.