Caught (up) in traffic

Home » Governance » Streets of Olongapo: Rizal Avenue

Streets of Olongapo: Rizal Avenue

April 2013
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Olongapo City is located in the Province of Zambales, the only city in that province, and beside the Subic Freeport. It is a pioneer in public transport service innovations in the form of the first initiative on the color-coding of jeepneys according to their routes. Despite what seemed to be forever being linked to the Freeport in terms of economic development, the city has enjoyed continued growth and is currently experiencing more challenges attributed to this growth. Among these challenges are those pertaining to traffic congestion and public transport services for the city. A Transportation and Traffic Management Plan Study was conducted by UP Diliman through the National Center for Transportation Studies and is up for formal adoption of the city.

Following are photos taken along the city’s main street, Rizal Avenue, where many of the city’s transport and traffic problems are manifested.

IMG02223-20120412-1438Cyclist pedaling along Rizal Avenue beside a yellow jeepney taking passengers at the designated stop at curbside. Downstream are parked vehicles along the road.

IMG02224-20120412-1438More parked vehicles at either side of Rizal Avenue effectively reducing road capacity for the 4-lane street.

IMG02225-20120412-1439On-street parking is a problem for the city as there are few, if any, off-street parking facilities in the city. On-street parking turnover is quite low since many of the parked vehicles are not clients or customers but establishment owners or managers.

IMG02226-20120412-1439Most of Rizal Avenue is undivided but there are median barriers along the section in front of the public market to reduce jaywalking among pedestrians.

IMG02230-20120412-1440The section in front of city hall – just across are many commercial establishments and on-street parking.

IMG02256-20120412-1544Another view of the Rizal Avenue, this time along the westbound side, with the the market on the left side. The yellow jeepneys are quite conspicuous and remind me of the UP Ikot jeepneys.

IMG02258-20120412-1545A monument to the Ulo ng Apo, from which the name of the city is said to be derived from, is right in the middle of a rotunda at a major intersection along Rizal Avenue. Around the rotunda are commercial establishments and a major provincial bus terminal.

IMG02262-20120412-1547There are designated stops for jeepneys along the avenue but these are often crowded out by parked vehicles. As a result, jeepneys could not maneuver properly and end up unloading/loading passengers in the middle of the road.

IMG02263-20120412-1549On-street parking along curves tend to impede the flow of traffic. There are also issues where electric posts like the one shown in the photo have not been transferred, posing risks to vehicular traffic.

IMG02265-20120412-1550Another example of a designated jeepney stop along the avenue where parked vehicles constrict maneuvering space for jeepneys.

IMG02266-20120412-1550A monument to the volunteers of Olongapo during the Mt. Pinatubo episode after the closure of the U.S. Naval Base in what is now a Freeport. I wonder if the building under construction in the photo has enough parking spaces for the traffic it generates.

IMG02267-20120412-1550More jeepneys and more on-street parking – there is a perception that there are too many (oversupply) of jeepneys. Note though that most PUJs in Olongapo are not the bigger 20 to 24 seater jeepneys we see in Metro Manila but the older, 16 to 18 seaters like the ones shown in the photo.

IMG02268-20120412-1550Some on-street parking spaces are “reserved” by establishments. I didn’t mention that on-street parking is free of charge and such situation probably encourages longer parking durations. Perhaps the city should seriously consider parking fees to reduce long-term parking and ensure smoother flow of traffic along its streets. There are examples of these parking schemes in other cities including Makati City that Olongapo can adopt and adjust.


2 Comments

  1. jc says:

    Driver in olongapo are very aggressive, don’t follow the road rules, no one stop on stop sign, always drive like they have an urgent don’t care about others specially the tricycle and jeepney. Need more LTO OFFICER OR QUALIFIED POLICE OFFICER to enforce the law not traffic enforcer due to they get bully. LTO should paying attention to traffic area like pag asa area, and 14th St towards to SBMA during busy hours like in the morning and afternoon have tricycle don’t dropped or pick up passenger by the gate also have people use the side walk instead using the bridge people or drivers doesn’t care about there safety and they create a traffic and accidents. St. Joseph Church/School very traffic no one is controlling the traffic as matter of fact not only traffic but accidents happens very often with tricycle, I know that they are making money for the family but they are very aggressive drivers they drives like maniac. Tricycle drives any where including the moped very unprofessional, the jeepney also pain in ass they stop in middle of the road to dropped or pick up passengers or stop by corners to pick up passenger very unsafe for other drivers or they turn left like taking the both lane so they could ahead. This why our road are very congested coz doesn’t have officers to lay down the law. LTO go with the flow as long they are getting paid every two weeks.

  2. jc says:

    I am really pissed off about driver will double park during heavy traffic with hazard light are on they will make the third car go around them that means the third car will have to drive part of the third lane which is on coming traffic very stupid and not safe it create traffic or an accident. I have called the LTO office to report about traffic problem but the answer I get they don’t have enough employees and they are worried about people they (LTO) will be posted at FB they are more worried about people talked about them than doing there job on top of all the excuses they wanted me to talked t o the mayor, they LTO should get some help from Mayor or to the MAIN LTO OFFICE. Very disappointed. This is the reason why we are not going to be a better country PEOPLE don’t follow any LAW OR RULES but when they are in different county they obey the LAW AND RULES. We need to have law enforcer more on the street like POLICE and police patrol not a traffic enforcer to keep our road less traffic and safer. Thank you

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