THE closure of some portions of Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) and other roads for the commemoration of the 29th anniversary of EDSA People Power 1 has caused chaotic traffic in Metro Manila.
Crisanto Saruca, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic discipline office head, said heavy traffic was reported early Wednesday from Orense St. to Shaw Boulevard northbound. Traffic was also at a standstill towards the Shaw Boulevard area.
The MMDA announced last Tuesday the closure of EDSA northbound from Shaw Boulevard to Santolan, from 12 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
All roads along EDSA’s east side were also closed: Internal Avenue, Garden Way, Julia Vargas, Bank Drive, Guadix, Poveda, Ortigas Avenue, Corinthian Subdivision Gate 2, White Plains, and Santolan.
But because of the monstrous traffic created by the road closures, Saruca said the MMDA decided to open the EDSA flyover and underpass to motorists earlier than scheduled.
Motorists going northbound had no choice but to traverse the congested alternative routes.
Netizens and motorists slammed the government for closing the busiest sections of EDSA for the commemoration of the 29th People Power anniversary.
To make matters worse, many commuters and passengers were not aware of the road closures as well as the MMDA’s traffic management plan. As a result, hundreds of commuters were stranded as early as 11 p.m. on Tuesday.
Commuters opted to walk from Shaw Boulevard to Ortigas because of the absence of public utility buses along EDSA. Because of this, Saruca said the MMDA provided military trucks and a bus to ferry passengers affected by the closure of EDSA.
“The free rides started at 11 p.m. until 10 a.m. on Wednesday. They stopped at 10 a.m. because we have many activities to attend to,” he said.
He said more than 2,000 passengers availed themselves of the free rides.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said a total of 1,104 of the agency’s traffic and clearing operations personnel were deployed along EDSA to guide motorists.