Mabuhay lane seen to ease EDSA traffic

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TRAFFIC PLAN Retired general Manuel Gonzales of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the Inter-Agency Committee on Traffic shows the government’s traffic management plan in a roundtable discussion with The Manila Times editorial team on Thursday. Beside him is lawyer Crisanto Saruca Jr. of the MMDA Traffic Discipline Office. PHOTO BY ROGER RANADA

TRAFFIC PLAN Retired general Manuel Gonzales of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the Inter-Agency Committee on Traffic shows the government’s traffic management plan in a roundtable discussion with The Manila Times editorial team on Thursday. Beside him is lawyer Crisanto Saruca Jr. of the MMDA Traffic Discipline Office. PHOTO BY ROGER RANADA

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has only one solution to the monstrous traffic jams along the 54-kilometer Epifanio de los Santos (EDSA) – divert a big volume of motorists to the Mabuhay lane, especially during the Christmas season.

Drastic and costly solutions like bus rapid system (BRS), odd-even scheme, subway, relocation of government agencies, banning cars with fewer than three passengers, or modular steel bridges are not needed to fight the carmageddon along EDSA, according to Manuel Gonzales, a retired military general who now heads the MMDA Security Investigation and Intelligence Office.

“All we need is to implement the laws like the three-meter easement, illegal parking, illegal terminal, and sidewalk vendors. Once this Mabuhay lane has been freed of all obstruction, then motorists will eagerly pass it,” Gonzales told editors of The Manila Times.

However, to remove obstructions, impose single ticketing and have one head to direct all traffic in Metro Manila, Congress will need to pass a legislation giving the President emergency powers, he said.


The MMDA said it needs 10,000 force-multiplier traffic enforcers to complete the 18,000 personnel needed.
At present, the agency has 8,000 traffic enforcers.

Gonzales said the government has created an Inter-Agency Coordinating office led by an undersecretary of the Department of Transportation. The IAC is in charge of traffic operations and has operational control over the MMDA, Highway Patrol Group, Land Transport Office and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

Cesar Ona Jr., MMDA deputy director, said the Metro Manila Council, composed of the mayors of the local government units in Metro Manila, has passed resolutions imposing the “nose in, nose out” of provincial buses and the elimination of pedicabs, pushcarts, tricycles, and ‘kuliglig’ along Mabuhay lane.

Ona added that MMDA is working on major projects that will have major impact in easing traffic congestion like the clearing of big trucks in Delpan, Manila and the transfer of informal settlers.

Crisanto Saruca Jr. meanwhile said there are some illegal terminals which they could not touch because they are being protected by powerful officials. He, however, refused to identify them.

Aside from Mabuhay lanes, another alternative is the Pasig River ferry system. The MMDA is operating 12 ferryboats and 11 stations with a capacity of 200 to 400 daily passengers.  Ona said they are adding more stations in Marikina City to attract at least 1,000 passengers daily.

Aside from discipline on the part of motorists, pedestrians, what the government needs to improve the traffic situation along EDSA is the “emergency power” that will centralize enforcement and resolve conflicts arising from the traffic ordinances issued by LGUs.

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3 Comments

  1. The news article clearly showed that lawyers even generals are Clueless in soving the traffic chaos.

    Only the first sentence of the third paragraph makes sense. All the rest is just “ramblings of lost boy in the urban jungle”. Lord help during the holidays.

  2. The traffic people of Du30 are as unreliable as former Sec. Abaya, long on promises – short on solutions, Digong should replace them all with action men like Bato dela Rosa. Someone who will not allow the problem of overdue roadworks to be neglected and result in traffic. One clear example is the 5 meter long bridge crossing at Balara Katipuan Ext., that could be finished in a month but after half a year it is only half finished. Instead of 10,000 more traffic enforcers, we need 10,000 road construction workers instead to speed up all these “tenga”/ corrupt gov’t road works that are the primary cause of traffic.

    One quick fix solution to the traffic crisis that is overlooked is to implement a similar traffic odd even scheme for student/commuters, to alternate weekends for select school levels like substitute mon-tue as weekend (no classes) for HS but hold their classes until sat-sun. This would not only effectively redistribute traffic to lessen weekday traffic congestion, but also partly address the shortage of classrooms by alternating those used by elementary for HS use on sat-sun, and likewise those not used by HS on mon-tues (day off) can be utilized for the elementary classes.

    This solution struck me as I passed silent schools during sat-sun and wondered why such a waste of time and school building resources. Then I realized that if there were shifting/alternating classes levels they could take advantage of less traffic during Sat-Sun, and effect reduction of traffic on the weekdays.

    • On the very slow completion of that bridge, most probably there are at least two PAPER CONTRACTORS before the execution contractor got the contract to build the bridge. Big budget, more than enough, but not enough after the commissions and profits of the Paper Contrators and their friends.