MMDA introduces “portable” rotundas

December 19, 2012 11:15 pm 

By Lloyd Caliwan

MANILA, Dec. 19 — In its continuing bid to reduce traffic accidents, particularly in road intersections, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority says it will introduce to the public a portable rotunda that can be easily detached and assembled in areas where it is most needed.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the introduction of the portable rotunda is the agency’s way of inculcating to the public its importance in Metro Manila’s busiest thoroughfares and intersections.

“We have very few existing rotundas nowadays because of the emergence of modern signalized intersections. We hope that by this portable rotunda, we can bring back to the mind of the people that rotundas are the simplest but one of the best ways to reduce accidents,” the MMDA chief said.

Mostly made up of wood, the makeshift rotunda is designed to be unfastened, transported, and reassembled in various intersections of Metro Manila.

This project will be formally launched Thursday at Edsa-Ayala Avenue intersection.

Tolentino said initially, the prototype rotunda will be used in Edsa-Ayala, NAIA area, and Roxas Boulevard.

As compared to accident-prone intersections, Tolentino stressed that rotundas or roundabouts require the drivers to adjust their speed, scan for openings and negotiate the merge, thereby increasing awareness of the road, especially during this Christmas season.

“No driver would blindly charge at a roundabout at full speed,” he said.

Citing a study made in the US in 2011, Tolentino said 23 intersections in the United States reported that converting intersections from traffic signals or stop signs to roundabouts reduced injury crashes by 80 percent and all crashes by 40 percent.

“Installing roundabouts in place of traffic signals reduce the likelihood of rear-end crashes and their severity by removing the incentive for drivers to speed up as they approach green lights and by reducing abrupt stops at red lights,” he further explained.

Average speed in most roundabouts is half that of conventional intersections, increasing safety for surrounding pedestrians, Tolentino added. (PNA)



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