2 Jul 2013

Espana Blvd-Lacson Ave Underpass to Decongest Traffic

  • 2 Jul 2013
  • Lagalag

  • In life something has to give in order to gain another. For decades, the intersection of Lacson Ave and Espana Blvd had been pain in the neck for us all that passed through it. You could be a commuter on a jeepney bound for Quiapo. Or the driver of that jeepney itself. Or maybe you're a motorist that stuck in the traffic. Whichever individual you are from the aforementioned, one thing is for sure. You've been pissed off by never ending traffic in one of the most popular, or should I say infamous, road intersections of Metro Manila. The location also falls as one of the critical areas during rainy season due to flash floods.

    Now that our government has found a solution, in good faith, scores of individuals raise their concerns over fear of worsened flooding in the area. And who can question the integrity of their sentiment? Trees do reduce flooding by absorbing water through their roots. Earlier, DPWH proposed a plan to build a flyover along Lacson Ave. The plan was scrapped due to UST'S opposition who claimed the proposed project to decongest traffic would ultimately "result in urban decay."

    Underpass - seen as solution to ease up the heavy traffic

    Once finished, the project will be known as Espana Blvd-Lacson Ave Underpass. It will be built along Espana, intersecting Lacson by passing under it. Imagine yourself driving continuously past Lacson without the long wait for red traffic lights to turn green. Or commuting in a jeepney or bus and you don't even notice that you're already past Lacson Ave.

    Here's the plan. First, DPWH will undertake road-widening. Once Espana Blvd is widened, works on the underpass project starts. Now to widen Espana, they have to cut trees along the boulevard. An estimated 300 trees will be cut down. There is where issues arise. Environmentalists, students, school authorities call for the stoppage of the whole project. They chant "No to cutting trees in Lacson Yes to environmental sustainability."


    There are two elements present in the area of Espana Blvd-Lacson Ave intersection. One is the perennial traffic which will not go away. Another is "the trees" which somehow prevent flash floods from getting worse although the way we've seen it, that's already the case every rainy season. Fact is - commuters, motorists, pedestrians and automobiles are not dwindling in numbers. Rather, they multiplied. New and second hand cars are bought daily, high school graduates from different provinces entered Manila colleges and universities yearly, and newly graduates have to find jobs. The reality is traffic congestion in Espana and Lacson intersection will inevitably get worse.

    While trees play major role in reducing carbon emissions as well as lessening the impact of floods, it's also reality that mature tree transplanting and tree moving are done today as ways to replace ones needed to cut down. There are ample spaces meters away from the existing trees where transplanting can be done.


    Groups who oppose to this project may become successful in stopping this awesome development. DPWH may give in to those powerful calls and outcry. For now. Yes for now. But as traffic condition in Espana and Lacson turns from bad to worse... and from worse to extremely worse, secondary thoroughfare will be eventually built. Be it a flyover or underpass, time will come when those people who oppose it right now will realize that indeed the underpass should go on. After all, is there any way?

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