[Blueboard] Stand of Sanggunian on the the U-TURN SCHEME

Marlon Joseph Apañada marlon_from_illyria at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 24 14:56:01 PHT 2004




The Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral ng Pamantasang Ateneo de Manila, the duly elected representatives of the Ateneo de Manila University Loyola Schools student body, is AGAINST the current implementation of the U-turn scheme by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in Katipunan Avenue. 


Katipunan Avenue, hereafter referred to as “Katipunan,” is defined in this stand as the road stretching from the intersection of C.P. Garcia southbound until the Aurora Boulevard intersection.


The current U-turn scheme in Katipunan, as implemented in February 2003, poses serious threats to the safety and welfare of the students, as seen in the following complications it presents:


A.     Pedestrian safety is not assured.

1.       There is no sidewalk along the northbound lane of Katipunan, along Ateneo de Manila University and Miriam College. 

2.       Pedestrians crossing from Ateneo to KFC, and vice-versa are placed under great danger when there are no MMDA personnel to signal the cars to stop for the pedestrians to cross. MMDA officers are only in the area at 6:00 am to 10:00 pm on weekdays. Thus there are usually no officers to help pedestrians cross from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am, as well as the weekends.


B.     Motorists are put into greater risks.

3.       Insufficient U-turn radius and short weaving sections have made vehicular accidents more prone to happen.

4.       Motorists are confused with some U-turn slots that do not specify which direction the U-turn slots are for, as well as with the stoplights which are still working. 

5.       Improperly covered drainage holes fronting Miriam College and trees left without the islands in front of Prince David Condominium become traffic hazards that may cause more road accidents.

6.       Due to the lack of turning signals, tricycles, being small in size, are prone to collision with cars and larger vehicles when they are trying to weave across the road to get to the U-turn slots.


C.    The welfare of the commuter is negatively affected.

1.         There are no signs indicating where the commuters should line up for boarding jeepneys. 

2.         Tricycles have hiked up their fares to unreasonable levels (70% increase in the fares, from Php 9 to Php 15). 

3.         Those riding the tricycles are also put into danger with the said problem of tricycles being prone to collision with cars and larger vehicles as they try to weave across the road towards the 

            U-turn slots.


With the said problems of the current U-turn scheme in mind, the Sanggunian ng Mag-aaral ng Pamantasang Ateneo de Manila believes that it is about time to conduct evaluations following the “trial run” of the said U-turn scheme. If it were truly on trial run, as said by the MMDA, then there should be measures for evaluating what was tried in order to determine the improvements needed. We strongly urge the MMDA to conduct an evaluation and engage in dialogues regarding the efficacy of the current U-turn scheme with the stakeholders of this issue: the administrations, environmental committees, dormitory associations, and student councils of the Ateneo de Manila University, Miriam College, the University of the Philippines, and other educational institutions in the vicinity; the tricycle unions, owners of business establishments, residents of communities and villages within the area; and the environmental groups involved in the Katipunan Greening Project responsible for putting up the
 trees along the road. This is the best opportunity to determine if the U-turn scheme indeed brought positive change to the Katipunan traffic situation.


Finally, we believe that the students, residents, and businesses of Katipunan Avenue have the ability and the right to discern whether the U-turn or any other traffic scheme for that matter provide them benefit and will adapt accordingly. If the U-turn scheme is proven to be effective and concerns regarding safety are addressed, then by all means it should be implemented fully. If it is found to be ineffective, then alternatives should be considered. As students gravely affected by this issue, we implore the MMDA to work with Katipunan Avenue stakeholders to conduct further investigation regarding the situation in order to realize the best possible solution to the traffic problem in Katipunan. We demand the MMDA, a government agency that is supposedly operating under the tenets of democracy, to uphold the democratic principles that put a premium on discussion and open debate. This is the best way to come up with a solution that will be amenable and beneficial to all.



Signed on the 15th day of March, 2004.




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