Caught (up) in traffic

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Monthly Archives: November 2013

Scenes at Aurora-Katipunan

My commute between my workplace and home includes a stop at the junction of Aurora Boulevard and Katipunan Avenue (C-5) to transfer from one jeepney to another. This is very similar to my commute when I was a university student a couple of decades ago. At the time, there was no flyover in the area and the Katipunan jeepney terminal was located at what was called K-Mart, a wet market set-up on privately owned land that was tolerated for quite some time before the market and terminal were eventually evicted from the area. The transfers when coming to the university were smoother. It involved shorter walks then and now. Meanwhile, the Katipunan jeepneys had orderly queues for passengers. There were two types of jeepneys – those that terminate at Balara and those that are allowed to travel inside the UP Diliman campus.

The transfers going home were and are still more challenging as it required longer walks and crossing Aurora Boulevard to get to the informal terminal or the loading/unloading areas for jeepneys. Back in the day, there was no terminal and the loading/unloading zone was a stretch in front of the old Sta. Clara church in what is now the LRT 2 Katipunan Station. Now, there is an informal terminal also beneath the Aurora-Katipunan flyover.

IMG07034-20131005-1622Walking and falling in line – commuters walking past the queue for Katipunan jeepneys at the terminal beneath the Katipunan-Aurora flyover.

IMG07035-20131005-1623A view of the Katipunan jeepney terminal from the pedestrian overpass crossing Aurora Boulevard. Aside from the terminal, there are also parking spaces for bicycles and motorcycles as well as a police assistance center. There are also many vendors in the area selling items like fruit, peanuts, cigarettes and even sandals and used clothes.

IMG07036-20131005-1624Pedestrians along the walkway hanging from under the Aurora-Katipunan flyover. The walkway is quite stable and there are no noticeable movements in the structure even with significant pedestrian traffic.

IMG07037-20131005-1624Pedestrians descending the stairs towards the informal terminal for Rizal and Marikina-bound jeepneys.

IMG07038-20131005-1624Informal terminal for Rizal and Marikina-bound jeepneys.

This could have been a different commute if the LRT 2 terminated in Masinag instead of at Santolan. I could have been taking the trains instead of the jeepneys for one leg of my commute. I still look forward to the day I would be taking the trains and am constantly frustrated by the inaction of those responsible for public transport in Metro Manila and this particular corridor.

Tricycles in the Philippines – Part 2

In a previous post on tricycles, I featured some photos taken from various trips I’ve taken around the country. Closer to home are tricycles that provide some convenience to commuters along a stretch of C-5 that is more commonly known as Katipunan Avenue. The example below is of a typical tricycle traveling along a section that cuts through lands of the University of the Philippines Diliman.

IMG06669-20130905-0855Tricycle along Katipunan Avenue

Tricycles do not necessarily just roam around to get passengers like what we usually see. They do have formal terminals though the informal ones outnumber these and typically cause problems due to the spaces they tend to occupy. These spaces include road space, the consequence of which is a reduction in road capacity, and sidewalks, which deny pedestrians space for walking. The first causes or exacerbates congestion while the second mainly puts people at higher risk as pedestrian safety is compromised. Following are photos of tricycle terminals taken from recent trips north of Manila in the provinces of Tarlac, Pangasinan and La Union.

IMG06846-20130920-0903Tricycle terminal at the Moncada Public Market

IMG06905-20130920-0947Tricycles still dominate traffic along the Manila North Road in Urdaneta, Pangasinan where they have terminals around the public market and at the intersections of side streets.

IMG06947-20130920-1047Roadside tricycle terminal in La Union where the newly paved shoulders are occupied by tricycles waiting for passengers from a nearby public school.

IMG06983-20130920-1113Tricycle terminal in front of the Civic Center in Agoo, La Union and just across the church.

More on tricycles and their terminals in succeeding posts!

YCAT – Yokohama City Air Terminal

The Yokohama City Air Terminal (YCAT) is one of two city air terminals in the Kanto area, the other being the Tokyo City Air Terminal (TCAT). I have used both in the past including my first trip to Japan where I was instructed to proceed to TCAT where I met with a good friend of mine who took me to the university I was visiting. The second time I went to Japan, I proceeded to YCAT where eventual friends also fetched me to go to the university where I was to study for 3 years. On this sentimental journey of sorts, I made sure to take a few photos at the YCAT, which I chose over my usual Yokosuka-Sobu Airport Narita train between Yokohama and the airport.

2013-10-11 11.23.11The YCAT is located at the Sky Building, which used to be the tallest building in Yokohama. The building is connected to Yokohama Station (East Exit). Proceeding left takes one to the departure lounge where people can purchase limousine bus tickets. To the right is the arrival lounge where people can wait for passengers arriving from either Haneda or Narita via limousine bus.

2013-10-11 11.23.33Main entrance to the YCAT right next to a popular coffee shop. Here, one can purchase tickets for Haneda Airport or Narita Airport, exchange currencies and even make some last minute souvenir shopping.

2013-10-11 11.41.12There are also many vending machines for those who just want a quick hot or cold drink.

2013-10-11 11.41.19Airport limousine bus tickets can be purchased at these counters. The electronic boards provide information about bus schedules between YCAT and Haneda or Narita Airport. There is also a Travelex counter for currency exchange and a Western Union counter for sending or receiving money transfers.

2013-10-11 11.41.27One can make some last minute shopping at the YCAT shop.

2013-10-11 11.44.54Coin lockers for travelers who might just want to keep their luggage secure while spending a little more time in the area for a meal or some shopping. Note that YCAT is located at the Sky Building, which is connected to shopping malls and Yokohama Station.

2013-10-11 11.45.06Airport flight information for departures and arrivals.

2013-10-11 11.45.14Other information on travel and events at the YCAT include brochures and posters.

IMG07169-20131011-1155Airport Limousine Bus bound for Narita Airport arriving at the YCAT – luggage are tagged so limousine bus staff at the airport terminals can identify which bags are to be unloaded at which terminals.

IMG07170-20131011-1156Stop 1 is for Narita-bound buses while Stop 2 is for Haneda-bound buses.