Caught (up) in traffic

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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Tandang Sora Avenue road widening

The stretch of Tandang Sora Avenue between Commonwealth Avenue (Luzon Avenue Flyover) and Capitol Hills Drive is currently being widened as part of the Luzon Avenue project. Work here has been delayed by not a few glitches including the issues regarding the right-of-way acquisition. This area used to be home to a lot of informal settlers, including many who have lived in the area for decades as they were tolerated by the land owners. Many had to be relocated and were compensated to give way to the section of Tandang Sora that connects to the also unfinished Luzon Avenue.

The following photos were from a month ago when work was still ongoing along the southbound side of the road. This southbound side is actually the old 2-lane, 2-way section of Tandang Sora that was rehabilitated following completion of work on the expansion northbound lanes.

IMG05734-20130310-1531Heavy equipment are everywhere along the section like the roller (pison) on the right side of the photo working on base layer of the pavement. The concrete barriers are used to prevent vehicles from entering the work zone.

IMG05735-20130310-1531Both northbound and southbound traffic were using the northbound side of the road. The median island separating NB and SB sides of the the road is shown in the photo. The building on the right is actually a condemned structure.

IMG05736-20130310-1531Concrete pavement has been laid out along the SB lanes but was still undergoing curing.

IMG05737-20130310-1532Approach to the intersection with Capitol Hills Drive

Yesterday, I was able to take a few photos of the same section and found that the rehabilitated southbound lanes were already usable to traffic.

IMG05779-20130401-1146Tandang Sora junction with Luzon Avenue

IMG05780-20130401-1147Newly opened southbound lanes – 3 lanes are of PCCP but there are still construction work ongoing including drainage and sidewalk construction.

IMG05781-20130401-1147Sidewalk and median barriers are in various stages of construction along the section. I think they built barriers to anticipate problems regarding jaywalking.

IMG05782-20130401-1147Approach to the intersection with Capitol Hill Drive – one problem that needs to be solved along Tandang Sora is roadside parking. Informal settlers who own vehicles park these along the road. There are also stores, eateries and vehicle repair shops along the section that occupy sidewalks and encourage parking by customers.

Once the section is completed and with the future completion of Luzon Avenue, it is expected that traffic will increase along this section. The improved capacity of the road is also expected to ease traffic along the Capitol Hills Driver-Zuzuaregi Street route, which has become congested due to vehicles traveling between Commonwealth and C-5 whose drivers want to bypass the usually constricted Tandang Sora section.

The commute to the airport

Traveling from our home in Antipolo to the airport in Clark, I decided to take the MRT to the Quezon City Air Terminal (QCAT) from where I would be taking the Clark Airport Rail Express (CARE) to the sparkling new terminal at what is a fast growing aerotropolis north of Metro Manila. It was an easy commute from the station near my home and a convenient one considering the e-Pasahe integrated commute card that I could also use for the C5 subway line or the Quezon Avenue BRT. Soon, all the jeepneys and buses would be accepting the card for fares. 100% of taxis were already accepting the card for payments and the electric tricycles were surprisingly ahead with 90% accepting the e-Pasahe card. I made sure my card was topped up when I left the university yesterday so I could also use it to buy a drink or a meal while at the airport. The convenience of the card reminded me of the Suica and Pasmo cards I used while traveling in Japan.

Upon arriving at the QCAT, I proceeded to the check-in counters to drop-off my luggage. I had already checked-in online so I just had to leave my bag at the express lane. I was already excited about the direct trip to New York, on board Cebu Pacific’s newly delivered A380, where I would be meeting up with the wife who’s already there for a conference. Unfortunately, we won’t be on the same flight home as she was taking the PAL’s non-stop Dreamliner service to NAIA.

On-board the CARE train to the airport, I had a quick but good view of Metro Manila as the train emerged from the underground tunnel for its surface run from Bocaue, Bulacan. It was still early in the morning and the sun was just rising. It felt good to see that there was much less smog covering the metropolis. All those electric and hybrid vehicles have made a significant impact on reducing air pollution and improving air quality. I decided to have a power nap for the rest of the trip and awoke minutes later to find out everything was just a dream.


Happy April Fool’s Day!