SLEX Traffic woes

Yesterday I unexpectedly attended the Ateneo’s MBA freshmen orientation after being told by our professor that she highly encourages us to be there even though its schedule is in conflict with our Information Technology class, thus she’s allowing us to be out of our first session.Since I didn’t anticipated being there and that I didn’t anticipate as well that I’ll be coming home late in the afternoon instead of lunch time, I decided that it is best that I drive my way back to Cavite via the south Luzon expressway (SLEX) instead of the coastal area after seeing in the morning that traffic at some part of it has worsened due to the flooding after typhoon Isang sent torrrential rains.

From the Rockwell area traffic flow was surprisingly fast but just before reaching Bicutan, it slowed down as if on cue. Although I was expecting it to be that way as I’ve heard from the news, I didn’t know that they’ve actually set a very long counterflow which I soon learned starts in Alabang. Thankfully, traffic loosened up after I reached the Filinvest exit. But it was short-ived.

The moment I approached the Total gas station in Ayala, traffic once again began to crawl and it remained that way until just before where the Daang Hari road starts. What made is frustrating though is when I learned what actually caused the build up is just the road which is more or less just 50 meters in length but is now as cratered as the moon’s surface. Man, that reminded me of the DPWH informercial where smiling public officials proudly declare their “accomplishments”.

Well, today I sort of retract back all the spite I had from yesterday’s ordeal. It is because our drive from Cavite to Batangas started to pick up speed as soon as we exited Carmona. As a proof, I was able to maintain around 120 kph until we reached the Calamba toll gate where once again, every car and motorist got stuck due to the still on-going construction in that area. This time I’m not disappointed since I’ve seen how a lot of progress have been made since this SLEX improvement project started. By the looks of it, they might complete it as planned sometime in 2010. All my fingers are crossed.

***

Yesterday’s drive was also quite alarming due to several encounters:

  • I had a near miss when somewhere in Baclaran I saw a taxi swerving to my lane and upon hitting my brake and punching my horn, he braked so hard that I heard his tires screeching almost to a stop. Some people just don’t deserve to drive.

  • While idling at an intersection near SM Molino I saw one street kid approach me but he not only knocked on my window to beg, but I also saw him lift the door knob on my side. I let it pass, but I only remembered about the modus when after he left one of the passengers of the car beside me opened her window and said, “he was trying to open you door”. That warning reminded me of what I’ve read from one of the car forums that some unscrupulous group operates this way. They send one innocent looking kid to check on car doors. Once they see that the doors can be opened, they will come out from nowhere and will immediately enter that particular car and divest whatever they can. It’s alarming knowing that as early as now, instead of the Christmas season (ironic, huh?), these people might be already starting their activity again.

 ***

I now describe the SLEX as the Philippine’s own version of Germany’s Autobahn. And I’m now calling it AutoBat (for Batangas). Right now, what this highway lacks, among other signs, is speed limit marks. So until the time when these are put in place, this highway is basically free for all and it means speed here is controlled more by the sanity of the driver behind each wheel rather than the speedometer in front of them – assuming it works. Hopefully, our beloved DPWH officials won’t wait for the time when accidents begin to happen before they act upon this safety concern.

 

 

Mood: 3/10 Honks!

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