Caught (up) in traffic

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Daily Archives: May 14, 2013

Traffic congestion along Buendia (Gil Puyat Ave.)

The Makati CBD generates a very high number of trips owing to it being arguably the largest CBD in Metro Manila in terms of offices and workers. There are several other CBDs like Manila, Ortigas, Cubao, Eastwood, Filinvest City, and Bonifacio but they generate less traffic compared to Makati. There are several major roads in the area including four intersecting roads that practically define the CBD. These are Ayala Avenue, Gil Puyat Avenue (formerly but still popularly known as Buendia Avenue), Makati Avenue and Paseo de Roxas. Both Gil Puyat and Ayala Avenue are lined with offices along either side and are often congested due to the vehicle traffic generated by the CBD. Following are a few photos of Buendia Ave.

IMG05849-20130418-0900Traffic congestion along Gil Puyat Ave. as seen from the overpass from Kalayaan Ave. Even the sidewalk on the right side of the road is filled with pedestrians.

IMG05850-20130418-0903One can see many people walking along the narrow sidewalk along Buendia. Some buildings have been renovated and refitted but many remain as they were in the last decade or more. The building in the center of the photo has so many air-conditioning units jutting outside the windows that it is quite obvious the units were an afterthought. Other buildings would likely have centralized or more strategically positioned air-conditioning units.

IMG05851-20130418-0904Another look at the traffic jam along one of Makati’s main roads indicate a lengthy queue from the Buendia Ave.-Paseo De Roxas intersection. The junction is signalized but saturated during peak periods. I am not sure about the optimization of the signal settings but it should be synchronized with at least two other intersections: Buendia Ave.-Makati Ave. and Paseo de Roxas-Makati Ave.

The DPWH is proposing a grade separation project along Buendia that is supposed to alleviate congestion at the intersections with Paseo de Roxas and Makati Avenue. The plan is to have an underpass along the avenue that would allow vehicles to flow through and bypassing the two major intersections. At-grade would still be signalized intersections but minus substantial through traffic along Buendia. The downside of such a project, of course, would be the expected traffic congestion during the construction phase. With very limited alternate routes and restricted space (i.e., unlike the case of the Quezon Ave. underpass at Araneta Ave.), traffic management in the area will surely be a challenge for the combined forces of Makati and MMDA traffic enforcers.