Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson on Tuesday said they are seriously considering a proposal to bar vehicles with fewer than three passengers from entering Epifanio delos Santos Avenue(EDSA) during peak hours.
He said the scheme, among the measures being considered to lessen the volume of vehicles using Metro Manila’s busiest byway, would be implemented during the peak hours–7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
The measure is also intended to encourage car-pooling.
A similar scheme was implemented by the Department of Transportation and Communications in the early 1990s when Metro Manila was confronted with congestion problems in the last years of the first Aquino administration.
Malacañang earlier announced plans to reintroduce the odd-even traffic scheme and the deployment of double-decker buses.
Singson said before the plan to restrict vehicles with fewer than three passengers is implemented, authorities will designate alternate routes for affected motorists.
“You can only do that once the alternate routes are opened. Hindi puwedeng mag-implement nang hindi naayos ang [That cannot be implemented without taking care of] alternate routes,” Singson told reporters.
Philippine National Police Director-General Ricardo Marquez, meanwhile, is proposing closure of certain U-turn slots and transfer of bus stops as an added measure to free traffic chokepoints along EDSA.
Marquez inspected some of the chokepoints that are now manned by the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) and noticed how traffic slows down in U-turn slots.
He particularly pinpointed the U-turn slot near West Avenue in Quezon City that he said contributes more to the traffic problems.
Marquez told reporters he received a text message from President Benigno Aquino 3rd congratulating them for job well done in effectively managing traffic along EDSA.
“He told me to make sure that his ‘well done’ message be disseminated and that we go from one success to another,” he said.
The HPG has deployed 150 traffic policemen in six EDSA chokepoints since Monday.
Its personnel will soon be reinforced by policemen from the National Capital Region (Metro Manila) Police Office.
“Our intervention should be mission-driven. That’s why our commanders are on the ground to see for themselves where the challenges [are]because that’s the only time you could develop suitable interventions,” Marquez said. “We cannot just guess. They cannot just decide from the office.”