Caught (up) in traffic

Home » Mode Share » What’s wrong with Marcos Highway?

What’s wrong with Marcos Highway?

December 2014


Traffic along the eastbound direction of Marcos Highway in the late afternoons to evenings have worsened particularly for the section stretching from Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City to Imelda Avenue in Cainta. It takes me at least 45 minutes just to traverse that section and then just under 30 minutes the rest of the way to my home in Antipolo. In addition, there is the traffic along Katipunan, which can be quite unpredictable despite the traffic signals now installed at two major intersections near Ateneo and Miriam. The congestion along Marcos Highway is usually due to several factors:

  • Rush hour(s) traffic – the sheer number of vehicles during the afternoon/evening peak is enough to cause traffic congestion along Marcos Highway. This is no longer for an hour but for a period usually spanning about 4 hours (5 to 9 PM). It’s become so bad that I am no longer surprised when I go home late some nights to find out it’s still congested at certain points (usually Santolan and Ligaya) past 9 PM.
  • People occupying the road – commuters waiting for a ride along Santolan, Ligaya and Metro East/Sta.Lucia often occupy not just one but 2 to 3 lanes of Marcos Highway. This drastically reduces road capacity. For some reason, the MMDA and LGU traffic enforcers could not persuade them to clear the carriageway or at least encroach only on the outermost lane.
  • Errant road public transport – loading and unloading operations of jeepneys and UV express happen in the middle of the road. This is partly due to the fact that people already occupy 1 to 3 of the outermost lanes of the road. It is also partly due to driver behaviour as many PUV drivers are unruly. These are also maybe because the enforcers are not doing their jobs managing traffic and apprehending those violating rules and regulations whether driver or pedestrian.
  • Major trip generators – there are already 4 malls along Marcos Highway (SM Marikina, Robinsons Metro East, Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall, and SM Masinag) and a 5th is already under way with Ayala constructing a mall at Ligaya. These will attract and produce significant traffic with vehicles generally contributing to congestion in the direct vicinity of the malls but spreading along all major roads. Unfortunately, Marcos Highway is one if not the only access road that these malls have.

A lot of people using their own vehicles live in areas served by Marcos Highway including those beyond Masinag and Cogeo. There are so many subdivisions and other residential areas in these parts east of Metro Manila that vehicles from these residential areas alone can cause sever congestion at Masinag Junction. But this should not come as a surprise given that there is no efficient mass transport system in these areas, which are served primarily by jeepneys and tricycles. Obviously, the quality of service of existing road public transport encourages people to get their own vehicle. And obviously, too, the solution is in a project that is considered “bitin” – LRT Line 2, which currently terminates at Santolan. The extension project has long been delayed and could have a significant impact on transport and traffic once it is constructed and becomes operational.

The past two weeks, I have proceeded to take C-5 and turned to Ortigas Avenue Extension on my way home. Surprisingly, traffic has not been bad at Cainta junction and I have only occasionally encountered congestion at the section in front of the BF Metals plant where jeepneys turning around tend to block traffic during their maneuvers. I estimate that I average just under an hour on this route, a savings of 30+ minutes from my original home-bound route via Marcos Highway and Sumulong Highway. I figure that I will most likely keep using this route as traffic will continue to worsen along Marcos Highway in the run-up to Christmas.


  1. Malu says:

    I agree with all the points that you raised regarding traffic along Marcos Highway and Ortigas Extension.. I’d like to add, though, the other contributor to heavy traffic along Ortigas Extension – the trucking/ logistics company located after BF, just before Marick (I think the place used to be Serg’s?). Their trucks cause heavy traffic even at midnight, because one lane of Ortigas Extension is used as their holding area for trucks while waiting to enter their gates. Traffic could stretch from Super 8, and minor accidents due to siksikan could aggravate the situation.

    • d0ctrine says:

      I also noticed the few times I passed by that area in front of BF this December that congestion is also caused by U-turning jeepneys being assisted by certain people (barkers? their conductors?).

      • Malu says:

        Yup, that’s correct. Not sure if they are barkers, but definitely not the jeepneys’ conducters. I shop for groceries at the Big-R Supermarket, and most of the time, the slot in front of Big-R is closed, so I’d have to go to BF to make a U-turn. These people would assist motorists (jeepneys and private vehicles alike) for a few pesos (I gave 5pesoos a couple of times).

        I don’t know anything about engines/motor parts, but jeepneys would take two to three lanes just to make the turn (why??). So if I had to take Ortigas from somewhere going home, while approaching BF, I’d take the rightmost part of the road just to avoid them. 🙂 Same is true going west, as there are the jeepneys and cars coming out of Ever taking the left turn for Ortigas going west.

      • d0ctrine says:

        I hear the plans to widen Ortigas Ave Ext. have been revived but just for the Rizal areas. This corridor is in dire need of a mass transit line with trains like that of the LRTA’s Line 2. The proposed BRT along this corridor seems to have been shelved already.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: