Learn: Decongesting EDSA traffic once Build, Build, Build road projects are complete

Maris Federez   •   August 19, 2019   •   1126

The Duterte administration has been relentless in carrying out infrastructure projects under the Build, Build, Build program which is expected to decongest the traffic along E. delos Santos Avenue (EDSA).

This move is prompted by the fact that despite the policies being implemented by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to solve the traffic problem in Metro Manila, it seemed to have gotten worse due to the increasing volume of vehicles and the lack of discipline among motorists.

MMDA traffic chief, Col. Edison “Bong” Nebrija claims that “volume talaga ang problema natin [(vehicle) volume is the real problem]. I mean, hindi naman ito ganito noong summer na walang pasok hindi rin naman ganito to noong hindi tag-ulan. So we will be managing as it is kasi wala naman talaga kaming bagong polisiya [I mean, it wasn’t like this last summer when students were on vacation; it wasn’t also like this during the dry season when there is no rain. So we will be managing as it is as we don’t really have new policy].”

Based on original design, EDSA can only accommodate around 260,000 passing vehicles per day.

The latest MMDA information, however, showed that vehicles passing EDSA every day have already exceeded 400,000.

To date, travel speed along EDSA is at 19 kph, and traversing the whole stretch of the said national highway will take around two hours.

And to address this concern, alternative routes such as the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 Project, NLEX- SLEX Connector and the C-5 South-link Expressway had been put into place.

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said once the Skyway Stage 3 is completed, there will no longer be a need for the more than a thousand motorists to pass by the whole stretch of EDSA from Makati, Manila and Quezon City and vice versa.

The NLEX-SLEX Connector is also seen as a big help in curbing the volume of vehicles going to and from Manila, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, and Valenzuela.

Even the opening to C5-Southlink expressway is expected to somehow decongest EDSA as it will provide an alternative route to motorists in going to the southern portion of Metro Manila and back.

The MMDA estimated that around 100,000 vehicles will be reduced along EDSA once the projects are completed and become open to the public.

“Well, it will increase the length of our road networks. Alam naman natin na [We all know that] we are lacking 3,000 kms of road network. If that happens, it means almost 1/4 of the volume that we have. It’s almost two lanes ang mape- free up natin [will be freed]. That’s a big advantage to us,” Nebrija added. (from the report of Joan Nano) /mbmf

MMDA denies reports on Metro Manila reverting to MECQ

Marje Pelayo   •   July 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Danny Lim has denied reports that local chief executives in the National Capital Region (NCR) have suggested to revert Metro Manila to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status.

In an interview, Lim denounced the reports as fake news saying that the Metro Manila Council of Mayors actually suggested extending the general community quarantine in NCR starting August 1. 

President Rodrigo Duterte, meanwhile, is expected to announce the new quarantine measures on July 31 that will be implemented across the country. –MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)

MMDA suspends work from July 9-10 after 4 workers contract COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Danilo Lim on Tuesday announced that work at the agency’s headquarters will be suspended from Thursday, July 9 to Friday, July to give way to the complete sanitation and disinfection of all its offices and adjacent premises.

This is after four MMDA personnel tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) when they underwent mass rapid testing and confirmatory swab test.

“Upon the recommendation of the MMDA COVID-19 Committee, we have decided to suspend the operations at all our offices for sanitation and disinfection to protect not only our personnel but also the transacting public against the virus,” Lim said in a statement.

All personnel will be allowed to go home at 2 p.m. on Wednesday as their workplaces will undergo sanitation and disinfection procedures until Sunday, July 12.

Lim said that no employee shall be allowed to enter any office during the sanitation and disinfection period.

The MMDA chief assured that the offices of those who tested positive have already been placed on lockdown and sanitized. Contact tracing has also been conducted and people who had close contact with them were ordered to strictly comply with the 14-day quarantine period and were subjected to swab tests.

“We assure the public that our offices will resume operations as soon as we have completed the sanitation and disinfection of our all offices by Monday,” Lim said.

Others employees who tested positive in the rapid test were made to undergo swab test and quarantine, according to protocol.

The MMDA has its own isolation facility to accommodate employees exposed to persons with COVID-19, tested positive on rapid test, and for those awaiting swab test results.

The 800-square meter isolation facility, located at the MMDA’s parking area, has two sections – one for suspect and probable cases.

Each section of the isolation facility has a 24-bed capacity equipped with shower rooms, comfort rooms and lavatories. The rooms are fully-air conditioned, with WI-FI connection and are regularly cleaned and sanitized. Free meals are also provided.

The MMDA’s Medical Clinic is also closely monitoring and providing guidance and assistance to employees.

Meanwhile, the MMDA said it has put in place protocols for visitors entering the building to prevent spread of COVID-19.

The agency’s guidelines state that all visitors with official business with the agency shall initially stay in the reception area for verification if the visitor will be allowed to go to the concerned office.

Strictly no personal visits are allowed for the meantime given the high risk of COVID-19 transmission at this period.

Moreover, delivery personnel shall not be allowed to go straight to the office or area of the ordering or recipient entity. All deliveries shall be transacted only at the reception lobby.

Likewise, visitors need to fill-up health declaration form with contact details for contact tracing purpose. “This pandemic is a difficult time for all of us and we must do everything we can to protect our personnel and visitors,” Lim said.

MMDA eyes closure of 15 U-turn slots on EDSA

Marje Pelayo   •   July 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is planning to close a total of 15 U-Turn slots on EDSA.

The plan aims to facilitate the construction of mass transport facilities in an effort to speed up traffic flow of buses on Metro Manila’s major thoroughfare. 

“We want to lessen the travel time. Kung ma-achieve natin iyan by minimizing or closing the U-turn slots on this bus way ay malaking impact iyan. Mas mabilis,” said MMDA EDSA Traffic Chief Edison Nebrija.

U-Turn slots that might be closed include: 

CALOOCAN CITY

  • De Jesus
  • Gen. Tinio
  • Malvar
  • Biglang Awa

QUEZON CITY

  • Balintawak
  • Kaingin 
  • Landers 
  • Dario Brigde
  • Walter Mart
  • Quezon City Academy
  • Trinoma
  • Timog
  • Santolan

PASAY CITY

  • EDSA-Taft
  • Heritage Hotel

Nebrija added that the project will exclusively assign the innermost lanes of EDSA for public utility buses in order to decongest traffic. 

Though MMDA expects to receive mounting complaints from commuters and operators, Nebrija said the project’s purpose is ultimately to provide convenience to the greater public. 

“Well maraming magrereklamo diyan. Baka may mag-file na naman ng TRO (Well, many will complain. Maybe another TRO will be filed),” he said.

Nonetheless, the MMDA is still open to suggestions and ideas on how improve EDSA’s busway system.  MNP (with reports from Dante Amento)

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