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Home » Traffic Congestion » Will a flyover at Katipunan-C.P. Garcia solve the traffic problem in the area?

Will a flyover at Katipunan-C.P. Garcia solve the traffic problem in the area?

February 2016
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I read a news article about the proposal by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to construct a left-turn flyover at the intersection of Katipunan Avenue (C5) and C.P. Garcia Avenue in Quezon City.  The flyover is supposed to be for vehicles turning left from the northbound side of Katipunan to C.P. Garcia Ave., which goes through the University of the Philippines Diliman

Will the flyover solve the traffic congestion problem in the area, particularly at the intersection and Katipunan in general? I would say no, it would not solve the congestion problem both for the intersection and for Katipunan. This assessment is due to the following reasons:

  1. The overpass does not address the root cause of congestion in the area, which is trip generation related. There are many major trip generators along Katipunan alone including three major schools (UP, Ateneo and Miriam) and a mall (UP Town Center). Add to this the traffic generated by the high density residential developments along Katipunan (notice the high rise condominiums lining up across Ateneo and Miriam?) and the through traffic coming from various areas that use C5’s Katipunan section.
  2. Congestion is caused by saturated intersections corresponding to Ateneo Gate 3 and main gate of Miriam College. Traffic going in and out of these schools are favored over through traffic along C5 resulting in congestion in the area. Perhaps it would be more appropriate to build overpasses to bypass these intersections.
  3. Congestion is caused by vehicles bound for and coming from the UP Town Center. The congestion due to traffic generated by the commercial development is actually alarming considering it is not yet completed and trips attracted and produced is not yet at full potential.
  4. The heaviest flows at the Katipunan-C.P. Garcia intersection are along Katipunan (northbound and southbound through traffic). Logic and traffic engineering principles point to grade separation to be more appropriate for such traffic and NOT for the left turn movement. A flyover should also be able to bypass UP Town Center as vehicles bound for the mall already blocks traffic along both sides of Katipunan and directly affects the intersection.

I think the DPWH should do well to re-assess their proposal along the lines of the reasons I have listed here rather than continue with the folly of building a left turn overpass alone. UP Diliman should also resist this overpass as, based on the news article, it would mean UP giving up some 8,000 square meters of its property for the project. UP already has given a lot for widening C.P. Garcia but that goes without saying that a through flyover might also require UP to give up property and particularly from its National Science Complex for such a project.


9 Comments

  1. anonymous says:

    Frequently passing through Katipunan, I agree with your points. You see, I usually come from Commonwealth so I either pass through either Tandang Sora or C.P. Garcia. From what I’ve noticed for the morning rush going south, the heavy traffic will reach either the said two points up to Katipunan flyover where the congestion seems to subsides very abruptly. (Of course, there is traffic again upon reaching other chokes.) As for the afternoon rush, the traffic would usually extend from UP Town center to any point before it that I’m not aware of as it usually goes much further from where I can observe. Nonetheless, you can probably infer that there are indeed problems in the common stretch of road between the two which is from UP Town Center to Katipunan flyover. Probably because of the schools in the area. (As from what I’ve heard from somewhere, Ateneo has provided more than 20k gate pass stickers for their total population of less than 20k? A more than 1.0 ratio of car vs people? Of course all those cars don’t go all at once but it does tell us something is off.)

    As for the proposed left-turn flyover at the Katipunan – C.P. Garcia intersection, it may slightly help ease traffic during the afternoon rush but other than that, it is indeed a complete waste. If they really want to ease traffic, they should either build a complete bypass for the said problematic area or reduce the number of private vehicles passing through the said avenue. First option is probably very expensive and would probably take a long time. The second could probably be simpler. They could try introducing mass transit going from QC to Taguig via C5? People would probably use it, no? I know I would.

    Lastly, can I ask if you can give an idea on how the DPWH (probably also LTO, LTFRB, etc.) comes up with proposals like these? If yes, can you share it? It is just that to be frank, even with just basic analysis, you’ll probably be able to see that their are many apparent problems from some of the things that they plan to do. Are they really just so disconnected with their jobs? Or politka lang ba talaga kasi? I’m really just very curious about the state of affairs regarding these matters…

    • d0ctrine says:

      I saw this morning 2 soil test sites along Katipunan – one near Ateneo Gate 3 and another in front of Miriam College. These may be related to a proposal for flyovers to bypass traffic along those areas. I suspect though that these will be something like the structures in Iloilo, Malolos and San Fernando, which are not necessarily tasteful in appearance. There have been several proposals for mass transit along Katipunan/C5. These are all proposals for bus systems including several versions of BRT.

      Proposals like the flyover(s) along Katipunan are usually proposed by the MMDA or LGU, which are in-charge of traffic management depending on the roads under their jurisdiction. These are passed on to the DPWH for further study, design and possible implementation. The budget and design are proposed for approval by the DPWH to MMDA, which chairs the RDC for Metro Manila. Once approved, funding will be requested from the DBM unless DPWH has funds to spare from their annual allocation. In certain cases, politicians like congressmen may allocate funds from their pork barrel but these funds will still go through DPWH, which will administer the fund.

      • anonymous says:

        They’re already assessing the possibility of flyovers & bypasses? I see… However, though it is indeed an option to help reduce traffic, I still have my misgivings about it. I just think that it encourages more the usage of the already many private vehicles traversing the area. If ever they really are indeed currently considering it, I would just like to say that we would probably be better off if the time and money would have been used for the testing and development of mass transit in the said area. I really just don’t think that a bypass will help us that much in the long run. I’m assuming you agree, no?

        As for the government stuff, basically, lots of red tape? I even hesitate to call it ‘red tape’ because that will imply we have adherence to rules. So uhm… No comment? However, let me clarify that what I mean by how they come up with proposals is by how do they develop it? What kind of studies do they do? Are the results of these studies available for public access? Do they collaborate with specialists such as yourself? If no, have you had the chance to verify any of their proposals? And on verification, who even does verification on these proposals? For a simple example, who decides on what intersections or U-turn slots are to be opened or closed? Because from what I’ve seen, some are very thoroughly planned and well implemented (e.g. the U-turn slot near UP Technohub. Amazes me every time I pass it.) and most, well, not so much. I’m guessing many are probably done on a whim. As for the big projects like bypasses, flyovers and whatnot, is there no independent verification? Given the way our country operates, this is probably needed to avoid conflicts of interest. Ah, but I don’t even really know how the government operates. I’m probably working on hearsay and assumptions. Care to shed some light on that? I’d really like to know the nitty-gritty. If your okay with it ,of course…

        Oh! And thanks for replying. It is very much appreciated. =D

      • d0ctrine says:

        The DPWH seems to be more efficient in implementing projects like road widening and flyover construction because they already have a well-oiled machine in as far as project development and implementation is concerned. Perhaps this is also due to the reforms the current Sec. Singson has put in place in that agency. Meanwhile, DOTC has only recently rolled out major projects (too little, too late?) that will be completed, hopefully, well within the term of the next administration. It makes perfect sense to have a mass transit system along C5. Whether that’s rail- or road-based, there should also be interventions to reduce private vehicle traffic. I’m not so sure the schools would take the initiatives to reduce their vehicle trip generation. That seems to be a bummer considering Ateneo and Miriam are supposed to be in the forefront of advocacies concerning the environment and sustainable transport.

        Both DPWH and DOTC have planning divisions, which are in-charge of identifying and developing projects. In DPWH’s case though, they have district engineering offices that have their own planning units. These are supposed to be their listening posts to more local concerns. DOTC doesn’t have such offices (LTO and LTFRB regional offices don’t count) and all planning is done at their HQ in Ortigas. Often, the DOTC commissions consultants to do the studies for them. With regards to private developments, though, projects like malls are usually required to have transport impact studies and these reports are typically submitted to the DENR-EMB as part of an EIA.

        I have had my share of evaluating or validating studies whether as a formal third party reviewer or just because I’m interested in particular projects. Many are sound but there are those that are obviously shallow. Worse are the ‘cut and paste’ jobs that assume the reader is not familiar with older studies whose analysis and recommendations are lifted to become part of ‘newer’ reports.

        Thank you, too, for your interest in transport. Transport is definitely a major issue for the coming elections and we need more intelligent discourse on transport topics.

      • @d0ctrine, out of curiosity, what is holding back the implementation of a C5 bus system? As you’ve said, it does make perfect sense to have some sort of mass transit along that stretch of road. I tried researching about it and what came up was feasib was not yet finished and some legal matters with regards to BRT?

      • d0ctrine says:

        Are you referring to the lobbying and case brought up by a certain inventor who claims he invented BRT in the 1980s and has the patents for it? That’s already done with as far as I know and the only hurdles now are basically the will of the agencies in-charge to actually finalize designs and implement a C5 BRT. The MMDA tried to implement a bus system along C5 during the latter part of Bayani Fernando’s reign and it already had detailed design drawings but that was not approved by DOTC then. However, the last 2 years saw the DOTC lean towards a railway line instead along C5. No studies for that yet except for macro projections by JICA under the MUCEP project completed last December 2015. Perhaps the next administration will be more aggressive in implementing mass transit projects including one along C5.

      • @d0ctrine, do you have an idea on why the proposal was denied? Given that a C5 Bus system is something that’ll surely help alleviate the problems on the said stretch of road, what could be the reasons for it to be rejected? I really just can’t get why. =(

      • d0ctrine says:

        Are you referring to the proposed BRT along C5? The people at the Department of Transport seem to be leaning towards an elevated rail system along C5. We’ll see what the incoming admin will have to say about that.

      • @d0ctrine, yes, I am referring to the C5 BRT. It is just that it really boggles the mind why it would be rejected. Though yes, an elevated rail will be a better solution given the opportunity. However, it is just that it’ll probably take a long time before it’ll happen. From the way I see it, we have a problem [now], and they can actually do something about it [now]. Sure a C5 BRT is a band-aid solution when compared to a C5 rail system. But I think they should probably at least implement the former so that they can alleviate the slow bleeding of the people because of the hassles of travel. Because given the state of our roads now, it’ll surely be a big help.

        So going to the question again, why do you suppose would the plans for the C5 BRT be rejected? Do you think that a leaning towards rail is enough reason to scrap the plans for that and just do nothing about the current problem? To be honest, I think there was of course a problem that came up so that it was rejected. However, it probably wasn’t with the plans. But do correct me I’m wrong. I really just want to wrap my head around it…

        Oh, and can I ask if you can give an idea of how long it’ll ideally take for a C5 BRT to be implemented given that there are already plans for it? I guess there are still some revisions, biddings, and other government stuff so it’l stilll probably take a long time as well… But still shorter than implementing an elevated rail, yes?

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