The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Sunday blamed the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) for the worsening traffic problem in the metropolis.
MMDA traffic director Noemi Recio said the street congestion experienced last week by motorists along Quirino Highway near Plaza Dilao going to United Nations Ave. in Manila was caused by the DPWH’s road re-blocking work.
She said the agency learned that the re-blocking was done at daytime, way ahead of the usual schedule of from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
“Traffic became horrendous in that area because the re-blocking was conducted in the afternoon,” Recio said in the MMDA’s weekly radio program.
She said the DPWH sometimes fail to secure a permit from MMDA for road repairs since the department doesn’t follow the required schedule.
There was also heavy traffic congestion along EDSA last Friday because of re-blocking work on two of its southbound lanes.
Recio said that once the DPWH conducts re-blocking, it has to close down the entire lane.
But in the case of the southbound stretch of EDSA from Quezon City to Makati, almost two lanes were closed because of the uneven division of lanes caused by the construction of the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) line.
“What the DPWH should do when they conduct re-blocking is to start with the existing lane and they should correct the pavement markings along EDSA,” Recio added.
MMDA Assistant General Manager for Operations Emerson Carlos said the agency has been looking for possible solutions to the worsening traffic conditions in Metro Manila.
Carlos issued the statement after the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), in a study, revealed that P2.4 billion in potential income is lost daily due to gridlock in Metro Manila.
He said among the measures under study is the Bus Management Dispatch System (BMDS) which will limits the number of public utility buses (PUBs) on EDSA and the total daytime truck ban.
The BMDS, Carlos said, will start this month in Roxas Boulevard, Parañaque City, while the total daytime truck ban is still being studied by the Metro Manila Council (MMC).
The total daytime truck ban was put on hold by the MMC because of strong opposition from truckers associations and other stakeholders.
The council instead extended the modified uniform truck ban for another six months to allow the Special Traffic Committee (STC) to come up with a permanent Metro Manila truck regulation.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO