Solve traffic woes in Commonwealth Avenue, QC | Inquirer Opinion
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Sharp Edges

Solve traffic woes in Commonwealth Avenue, QC

/ 05:00 AM February 23, 2021

After traffic improved along Edsa and C5 due to Skyway Stage 3, public clamor shifted towards ending heavy traffic along Commonwealth Avenue, from Quezon Memorial Circle to Fairview-Novaliches-Caloocan-Bulacan areas and vice versa.

Today, Commonwealth Avenue and the heavily trafficked Quirino Highway are the only two roads leading to eastern Quezon City and Bulacan. There are no alternate routes as big private subdivisions are heavy on both sides.

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Actually, there are major DPWH projects here, and good grief after 61 years, one will be opened to motorists by December this year. This is the Katipunan Avenue Extension project that begins C5 from UP Town Center, passing exclusive subdivisions and end at the Batasan-San Mateo Road. An idea planned during President Carlos P. Garcia in 1960 that took six decades to resolve due to right of way issues.

Finally, DPWH Secretary Mark Villar declared the 60 percent accomplishment of the Katipunan Avenue extension project, a 5.7-kilometer six-lane road available to the public by yearend. This new road will pass through Bgy Pansol beside UP Town Center, and then across private subdivisions such as Loyola Grand Villas, Acropolis-Sta Lucia, Ayala Heights, Capitol Homes, Vista Real, Filinvest-Northview and ends at Batasan-San Mateo road.

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Included in the project is a new and beautiful Kabayani-Katipunan avenue bridge connecting Vista Real Classica QC and Marikina.

Once opened, vehicular traffic from C5, Cubao and Taguig, Rizal, can bypass Commonwealth Avenue and use this new road to reach Batasan-San Mateo Road for their destinations in Fairview-Bulacan, San Mateo-Montalban and vice versa. Around 20,000 to 30,000 vehicles traversing Commonwealth Avenue are expected to be diverted there.

I was told that subdivision operators in the affected areas finally agreed to this new Katipunan Avenue extension project, after realizing it will redound to greater accessibility of their residents towards national roads from all directions.

And of course, public congratulations should be accorded to Sec. Mark Villar, and DPWH NCR. Also to Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte, Marikina Mayor Marcy Teodoro, and MWSS and Asian Development Bank for the financing of the new bridge over Marikina river.

Right of way derails Visayas Avenue extension

If Katipunan Avenue extension is a success, the reverse hit the Visayas Avenue Extension project, a new road from QC Memorial Circle to Fairview, Novaliches. This was one of the six major routes planned in the 1950s coming from that circle, led by Quezon Avenue leading to Manila, East Avenue going towards Edsa, Kalayaan Avenue going to V. Luna hospital and projects 2,3, and 4. Third was North Avenue towards Mindanao Avenue and Edsa-Trinoma, fourth was Commonwealth Avenue towards Batasan Pambansa and lastly Visayas Avenue towards Novaliches.

DPWH started the Visayas Avenue project 10 years ago to serve as alternate road for Commonwealth Avenue and Quirino Highway towards Novaliches. But the road cannot be completed hounded by right of way issues by “powerful individuals”, politicians included, and also more than 600 informal settler families.

Actually, major sections have been finished as it passes Tandang Sora, Pasong Tamo near Himlayang Pilipino Memorial Park, crossing Republic Avenue in Barangays Sauyo and Holy Spirit, then over Tullahan River in Barangay Sta. Lucia connecting to Regalado Avenue, Mindanao Avenue and Quirino Highway, Novaliches.

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Yes, there are stumbling blocks ahead but I still believe this is still doable.

Once both are completed, just imagine four major wide roads running from west to east of Quezon city and border towns. Definitely, we will not be talking and seeing heavy traffic in Commonwealth Avenue and nearby areas anymore.

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TAGS: Commonwealth Avenue, Jake J. Maderazo, Metro Manila traffic, Sharp Edges
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