Welcome to Inquirer Mobility

By Dax Lucas

Mo­torists hop­ing for a higher speed limit on the newly opened Sky­way stage 3 el­e­vated toll­way of San Miguel Corp. might be in for a dis­ap­point­ment. But they will also be in for a safer drive.

Ac­cord­ing to the head hon­cho of the coun­try’s largest con­glom­er­ate, the cur­rent speed limit of 60 kilo­me­ters per hour (kph)—which is not bad, but can be a tad slow for some mo­torists—will stay even af­ter con­struc­tion work is fully com­pleted in a cou­ple of months.

This might come as a dis­ap­point­ment for some users of the seven-lane el­e­vated high­way, but San Miguel pres­i­dent Ra­mon Ang as­sured them that it was meant for ev­ery­one’s own good.

San Miguel pres­i­dent Ra­mon Ang

Speak­ing to some jour­nal­ists in an on­line video těte-atěte re­cently, Ang ex­plained that the traf­fic scheme be­ing en­vi­sioned for Sky­way 3 was that of vari­able di­rec­tion lanes that could be ad­justed at dif­fer­ent times of the day to ac­com­mo­date higher vol­ume of ve­hic­u­lar traf­fic that might be head­ing south dur­ing the morn­ing, and the re­verse in the late af­ter­noon to early evening.

“So even­tu­ally, when things nor­mal­ize, you will see five lanes head­ing south and two head­ing north in the morn­ing,” he said. “In the af­ter­noon, it will be the re­verse: two lanes head­ing south and five lanes go­ing north.” So what does this have to do with the 60 kph speed limit?

Ang ex­plained that this vari­able di­rec­tion lane scheme meant San Miguel would not be able to in­stall con­crete di­viders along the cen­ter is­land as was cus­tom­ary in high speed toll­ways in the coun­try. In fact, there will be no cen­ter is­land. In­stead, there will be mov­able traf­fic lane di­viders to fa­cil­i­tate the lane di­rec­tion ad­just­ments at dif­fer­ent times of day (ex­cept for a few sharp turns where con­crete di­viders have al­ready been in­stalled). Be­cause of this, speed will have to be kept at 60 kph as a safety pre­cau­tion, just in case an er­rant car crosses over into the on­com­ing lane, knock on wood.

“There’s noth­ing wrong with 60 kph. You will still get to your des­ti­na­tion a lot faster,” he said. “What will you do with higher speeds? Race? If you want to race, take it to the track in Clark,” Ang said. “A lot of peo­ple who like to race on roads here, pure ya­bang lang (it’s all blus­ter). When they get to the race track, they have noth­ing to show for it.”

Good point. And good safety ad­vice.

(This article came out as part of the Biz Buzz column in today’s Philippine Daily Inquirer print edition)

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