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.
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)