Mass transport highway, express bus lane: proposed to solve EDSA traffic

Maris Federez   •   September 16, 2019   •   1108

A lawmaker in the Lower House has proposed to dedicate an express bus lane, while another suggested reserving certain hours for mass transportations only along EDSA to solve the perennial traffic in Metro Manila’s major thoroughfare.

According to the data of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the average vehicular volume on EDSA is more than 400,000 every day and it is expected to increase further by 15 to 20% these BER-months.

House Committee on Transportation chairman Edgar Sarmiento suggested dedicating the innermost lane of EDSA as an express bus lane for those who will ride the MRT.

Three lanes will be allocated to private vehicles, while the outer lane will be for passenger buses that will stop in designated loading and unloading areas only.

These buses will be allowed to queue in for pick up and drop off of Metro Manila-bound passengers at the Paranaque Integrated Terminal Exchange and the Valenzuela Gateway Complex Terminal.

Sarmiento said this scheme will prevent bus drivers from over-speeding and from overstaying in loading and unloading areas and cause traffic congestion.

“We propose this to eradicate the kanya-kanya system of the buses wherein they compete with each other creating chaos through overtaking, overspeeding, and overstaying,” Sarmiento said.

Meanwhile, Caloocan representative Edgar Erice has proposed the dedication of mass transport highway which aimed at giving priorities to public commuters.

Under his proposal, private vehicles will be off-limit along EDSA on certain hours every day.

“Dapat yung limang lanes ng EDSA from 6 to 9am at 6 to 9pm dedicated lang sa mga public utility vehicles [The five lanes on EDSA shall be dedicated only to public utility vehicles from 6:00 to 9:00am and at 6:00 to 9:00pm],” he stated.

With the 6-to-9-scheme, private car owners will have the option to use alternative roads, leave the house earlier than usual, take the bus, or take EDSA only after 9 o’clock.

The MMDA said it welcomes the said proposals.

“Ito yung pro commuter talaga; para sa mga ordinaryo nating mamamayan na mas mapabilis yung byahe nila. Ngayon, pagdating sa private may mga alternatibo naman sabi nga ni Cong Erice [This is really pro-commuter; for the ordinary people to have faster travel experience. Now, when it comes to private (car owners), there are alternatives as what Cong. Erice said],” according to MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia.

These suggestions, as well as the others, will go thru the MMDA’s engineering team for further study and screening for the selection of the feasible solutions for EDSA traffic.

The selected suggestions will be submitted to the Metro Manila Council meeting in October. (from the report of Vincent Arboleda) /mbmf

Construction of elevated busways to begin in four months — MMDA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The construction of the elevated busways in several areas along EDSA will begin in four months, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos Jr. said the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is set to submit the design by next week.

After the design submission, Abalos said the bidding process will begin.

“We have to go [through] the process of bidding of procurement which is about 3-4 months. Give us four months matatapos na po ito (it will be completed). Gagawin namin ito sa corner ng (We will construct this at the corner of) Quezon City and Caloocan.” 

The MMDA said the elevated busway is among the solutions to ease traffic along EDSA.

“There is only one way to beat this. It’s what we called the elevated bus ramps,” Abalos added.

The MMDA chairman said the agency has around P200 million budget from the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Quezon City local government to fund the said project.

The agency is also looking for more ways to further increase its budget for the construction of the busways. -AAC (with reports from Janice Ingente)

Shooting incident stalls traffic near mall along Commonwealth Ave.

Robie de Guzman   •   February 24, 2021

Photo by Rapid Uno Gonzales

Vehicular traffic along Commonwealth Avenue was temporarily stopped early Wednesday night following a shooting incident reported near the Ever Gotesco Mall, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said.

In an advisory, the MMDA said traffic on the eastbound lane of Commonwealth Avenue was temporarily stopped due to the armed encounter.

[Admin 24] MMDA UPDATE: Shooting incident at Commonwealth Ave. Ever Gotesco EB involving PNP as of 6:57 PM. Temporarily…

Posted by MMDA on Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The MMDA said the shooting incident was still ongoing around 6:57 p.m. with police officers at the scene.

“Ongoing zipper lane on WB side bound to Fairview. PNP and MMDA on site,” the agency said.

The management of the Ever Gotesco mall in Commonwealth have confirmed reports of a shootout outside of the mall but did not provide any information about the incident.

“We have secured all access to the mall so all shoppers are safe inside. Our priority right now is to ensure the safety of the employees and the public,” the mall said in a statement.

“The management is closely coordinating with the PNP of the current situation. Please bear with us as we allow with the authorities to handle the situation,” it added.

The mall management also urged the public to “exercise caution in sharing unconfirmed information online.”

MMDA to open zipper lane along White Plains Ave. for EDSA anniversary

Robie de Guzman   •   February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has announced it will open a zipper lane along the eastbound direction of White Plains Avenue in Quezon City on Thursday, February 25, for the celebration of the 35th EDSA People Power Revolution.

In an advisory, the MMDA said the zipper lane or counterflow scheme will be opened in front of Camp Aguinaldo Gate 5 and will accommodate the volume of vehicles going to EDSA.

Plastic barriers and traffic cones shall be installed to guide the motorists on the use of the zipper lane along White Plains and at the sidewalk along EDSA in front of the People Power Monument, it added.

The agency also said that a simple and short program will be held at the People Power Monument at 8 a.m. but there will be no road closure.

As part of its traffic management plan in coordination with the Philippine National Police and the local government unit of Quezon City, the MMDA said it will deploy traffic marshals to manage traffic flow along White Plains and other areas of concern as early as 4 a.m.

“Road clearing operations will also be conducted to remove illegally-parked vehicles at the areas of concern, including Temple Drive and EDSA Shrine,” it added.

The MMDA assured that minimum health protocols set by Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) such as physical distancing, mandatory wearing of face mask and face shield, will be observed among its personnel to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease amid the general community quarantine status in Metro Manila.

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