MANILA-- Residents and daily commuters from Novaliches, Quezon City and Caloocan City are clamoring for the immediate widening of a two-and-a-half kilometer portion of the Susano Road which links the old town's center or poblacion with its former half now in Caloocan City-North.
They said the narrow road, with just one lane each way, has been rendered "obsolete" by the fast development of former idle tracts of land, rice fields and forests in the old Novaliches municipality into subdivisions and housing areas as well as industrial sites by various business groups.
The daily commuters, mostly employees and students working or studying in Quezon City, Manila, Makati City, and Valenzuela City, said that because of the big volume of public and private vehicles using the road, travel speed along it from the Caloocan-Quezon City boundary in Barangay San Agustin to Novaliches Proper is now as slow as two kilometers per hour.
As a result, they usually arrive late at their places of work or schools because of other traffic problems they encounter along Quirino Highway, leading to Balintawak and Manila, Mindanao Avenue heading to Quezon City or General Luis Street going to Valenzuela City.
Originating from Quirino Highway, Susano Road branches out into two directions upon reaching the Caloocan-Quezon City boundary in Barangay Deparo. One segment heads to Camarin, Bagong Silang, Tala and Malaria where it merges with Quirino Highway. The other segment leads to Deparo and eventually to Meycauayan City and Marilao, Bulacan.
When Susano Road was constructed while Novaliches was still a municipality, it was designed only for small vehicles like jeepneys and "kalesas" or horse-drawn rigs. Today, it caters to all types of motor vehicles such as passenger jeepneys, private cars, buses, trucks, tricycles, and motorcycles.
There is no truck ban along it as it is the only direct link from Quirino Highway at the old former town plaza to Barangay San Agustin of Novaliches, Quezon City and the Caloocan City-North barangays of Amparo Novaville, Deparo, Urduja Village, BF Homes I and II, Bagumbong, Camarin, and Bagong Silang, among others.
From their places of residence in these northern Caloocan barangays, the commuters go to the old Novaliches poblacion where they take their final ride for their destinations in other parts of Metro Manila.
The road has never undergone any widening since Novaliches was divided in 1948 between Quezon City and Caloocan, then still a town of Rizal province, under Republic Act No. 333 which declared Quezon City as the new national capital in lieu of Manila. (In November 1976, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos issued a presidential decree restoring Manila as the country's capital city.)
The commuters are hoping that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) under Secretary Mark Villar will include the widening of the road in its infrastructure projects for this year under the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
There are more than 80 subdivisions and housing projects, shopping centers, convenience stores, manufacturing plants and other business establishments located in the area.
There are also two memorial parks (mild terms for cemeteries). These are the Serenity Memorial Park (formerly State Employees Memorial Park) in Barangay Deparo and Forest Park in Barangay Bagumbong.
Among the subdivisions and housing projects located along Susano Road and in Caloocan City-North are Millionaires' Village, St. Francis Village, Joy Ville, Greenfields I and III, Amaia Steps Novaliches, Cefels I and II Subdivisions, Diamante Subdivision, Amparo Nova Ville, Celia Subdivision, Urduja Village, B.F. Homes I and II, Villa Magdalena, Hillcrest, Villa Alegria, Dona Helen, SM Homes, Del Rey Ville, Tierra Nova, Palmera Springs, Siena Villas, Nova Romania, Camella Homes, Congress Village, Rainbow Homes, Casimiiro Town Homes, Villa Maria, Saranay, Sampaguita, Bankers' Village, Senate Village, and Union Village. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency