MMDA defends implementation of provincial bus ban on EDSA
Maris Federez • August 13, 2019 • 257
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) believes that the full implementation of the provincial bus ban along EDSA is a big help in easing the traffic in Metro Manila.
MMDA data shows around 6,500 buses pass thru the yellow lane along EDSA; 3,500 of which are provincial buses.
MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia admitted at Thursday’s Senate inquiry that the past dry run on provincial bus ban was a failure.
The yellow lane and failed dry run of provincial bus ban are now being blamed for the worsening traffic, particularly that of last week’s traffic situation.
To which Garcia took on the defense, saying: “Na-highlight lang ng media kasi nga palpak yung dry run, so sabi nga namin, palpak ang dry run dahil walang nakisali, siguro out of 100 operators, five lang (the dry run failed and media highlighted it. The dry run failed because no one cooperated. Let’s say, out of 100, only 5 joined [the dry run]).”
Garcia also denied allegations that they were experimenting with EDSA’s traffic situation, saying they were just implementing what was then the practice of the past administration.
Senate Committee on Public Services Chair, Senator Grace Poe, said there was lack of consultation on the MMDA’s part.
Poe said, “Imbes na i-ban ninyo agad, bakit hindi kayo kumuha ng mga inter modal terminals within strategic areas dun sa may EDSA kung tatanggalin ninyo ang 43 or 45 provincial terminals along EDSA [Instead of immediate banning, why didn’t you come up with inter-modal terminals within strategic areas on EDSA if you are going to remove 43 to 45 provincial terminals along EDSA]?”
Senate President Vicente Sotto III also proposed the implementation of an extensive No Parking Zone in Metro Manila.
“Ang talagang solusyon [The real solution} to decongest EDSA is no parking in Metro Manila,” Sotto said.
Sotto also hinted at transferring the government agencies outside of Metro Manila.
Meanwhile, the MMDA will wait for the result of the motion for reconsideration they filed regarding the Quezon City Regional Trial Court’s decision that suspends the provincial bus ban.
For now, MMDA said they will strictly implement the clearing operations in the alternate routes in Metro Manila. (with reports from Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf
The said intersection will close from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. for seven consecutive nights and will remain passable in the morning. This is to give way to the launching of a girder for the Skyway Stage 3 Project.
The MMDA earlier said an average of 17,000 to 18,000 vehicles will be affected by the temporary closure.
Affected motorists are advised to take the following routes:
FOR LIGHT VEHICLES:
From Shaw Boulevard/ V. Mapa, take straight towards Magsaysay Blvd. then Santol Street, right at Palanza, Landargun or Bayani Road, left at G. Araneta to destination and vice versa;
Vehicles from Cubao towards Manila area, along Aurora Blvd., right at Guirayan St., left at Palanza, left at Tomas Arguelles St. or Santol St. to Magsaysay Blvd. to destination;
Vehicles coming from N. Domingo and Blumentritt, take F. Roman, H. Lozada St. and J. Ruiz St.;
Vehicles coming from north: along C-3 Sgt. Rivera, right at Bayani, Landargun and Palanza St., left at Santol St., left at Magsaysay Blvd., and take V. Mapa, Old Sta. Mesa to destination
From Quezon Avenue, E. Rodriguez Ave., straight towards España Blvd., left Lacson Ave. straight towards Nagtahan to destination (vice versa); or
Take Magsaysay Blvd., right at V. Mapa to Shaw Blvd. to destination and vice versa.
The intersection will fully reopen on Friday, August 30, the MMDA said.
The Quezon City Task Force for Transport and Traffic Management has launched ‘Bayanihan sa Lansangan’ which will dispatch more buses in Commonwealth Avenue.
Aside from the severe traffic, there are also not enough buses for an estimated 30,000 – 40,000 commuters in the area.
Rene Hanolino, one of the commuters, said he spends time just waiting for a bus ride every morning.
“Mga 15 minutes, pinakamatagal na sa akin iyon, pag-aabang. Kasi talagang madami namang pasahero. Tiyaga lang naman (Around 15 minutes, that is the longest time I’ve waited because there are a lot of passengers. It takes patience),” he said.
During the first day of the implementation on Tuesday (Aug 20), authorities directed the passengers to where they should wait for buses.
Traffic czar of Quezon City Task Force For Transport And Traffic Management Ariel Inton said the heavy crowd of passengers waiting for a ride have begun to block the roads.
“Sa dami nila, bumabara sa mga private vehicles. Iyong mga bus naman, sinasalubong nila kasi dumadating dito iyong mga bus, punuan na (Because of their sheer number, they block the private vehicles. Other passengers try to get ahead by catching the bus before it reaches the stop, so its already full by the time it gets there ),” he said.
Inton added that the ‘Bayanihan sa Lansangan’ will be able to provide enough buses for passengers.—AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr.)
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
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