How traffic made the world stand still for one commuter

June 7, 2018 - 6:57 PM
Southbound traffic in Philcoa on Commonwealth Avenue as the MRT-7 breaks ground. ( file photo)

Traffic in Metro Manila is a given headache for its more than 10 million residents, but for some, the traffic in the northern tip of the metropolis is bad enough to make the world stand still.

Crowded northern sector

One commuter aired out his grievances on Facebook because of the severe traffic that greets him while wading through Fairview in the northern part of Quezon City.

The picture showing the mammoth-sized traffic in the area appears to have been taken near Fairview Center Mall, a known commuting landmark in the area where Commonwealth Avenue meets Regalado Avenue, the main highway in the Fairview and Novaliches districts.

The volume of vehicles in the area is a thorn in the side of residents. Looking through social media reveals the mounting frustration of commuters.

Among the factors for the worsening traffic in Commonwealth Avenue is the construction of the Metro Rail Transit Line 7, which aims to provide rail transport between San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan and North Avenue in Quezon City.

Construction of the MRT-7 and other road projects in the area takes up at least two to three lanes.

Once known as the “Killer Highway” for being the site of numerous vehicular accidents, Commonwealth Avenue is the widest highway in the Philippines with 18 lanes.

Stricter traffic rules and schemes have reduced the number of accidents in recent years.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority as early as January 2018 warned of the impending traffic congestion the construction would cause.

The Japanese International Cooperation Agency in February 2018 found that the Philippines was losing P3.5 billion daily in missed opportunities due to severe traffic.

Completion of the “Build, Build, Build” Program of the government and other infrastructure programs however could reduce the cost to P2.4 billion, according to JICA.

According to the Department of Transportation, the MRT-7 is expected to be up and running by the fourth quarter of 2019.

With 14 stations along Commonwealth, Regalado, and Quirino avenues, the MRT-7 with its 36-train sets seeks to transport 500,000 commuters daily between Bulacan and Quezon City.