by Rio N. Araja
THE Metro Manila Development Authority is eyeing the construction of nine rotundas in the metro in a bid to ease traffic on major roads.
Chairman Francis Tolentino said the intersections at Julia Vargas Avenue-Meralco Avenue in Pasig, Paranaque’s Redemptorist district, and Manila’s Quirino Avenue and Taft Avenue are among the pilot areas of the roundabouts’ construction.
After Wednesday’s aerial inspection of Metro Manila, he said the rotundas would be part of the solution in increasing travel speed in metro roads and decongesting major thoroughfares.
“We will be proposing and implementing short and long-term solutions to address traffic congestion, specifically on bottleneck areas where there are too many road obstructions,” he noted.
Citing simulation studies done by the agency’s Traffic Engineering Center, he said a roundabout at the Redemptorist could increase the area’s actual travel speed of 26.9 kilometers per hour by 209 percent.
Another study showed a 191-percent increase in travel speed along the Julia Vargas–Meralco Avenue intersection with the construction of a roundabout, he added.
Neomi Recio, TEC head, said the agency has already identified numerous locations where roundabouts can be constructed.
However, she said that after conducting studies thoroughly, only the two intersections have yielded positive results in terms of effectiveness in traffic reduction.
She said the rotundas follow the concept of U-turn slots that require the removal of traffic signal lights to make the traffic free-flowing.
“A flyover on Julia Vargas Avenue would stay despite the rotunda at the intersection,” she told the Manila Standard.
The Welcome or Mabuhay Rotunda is also being studied, Recio said.