EVEN the head of the agency responsible for traffic management in Metro Manila fell victim to the so-called ‘carmageddon,’ a term describing the vehicular congestion problems on Tuesday night.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino said he was also stuck in the horrendous traffic mess for over six hours.
In recalling his ordeal, Tolentino said he left Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City at 7pm and arrived in Muntinlupa city at 1:30am as he spent nearly two hours along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (Edsa) particularly in Guadalupe.
“I reached Ayala Tunnel 11:30pm, reached Magallanes Interchange to look for a restroom 12:30am. I was also a victim of traffic and gridlock during that precise moment,” Tolentino told a television interview.
Tolentino has been criticized for failing to respond and address the traffic mess in Metro Manila, particularly Edsa during Tuesday’s heavy downpour.
At the same time, the MMDA chief denied reports that the agency did not deploy personnel during the gridlock.
Most of the MMDA personnel deployed during that time, he added, were members of the agency’s flood control team dispatched in the areas of C-5 road near Tiendesitas, Merville Service Road, Maria Clara in Malabon and Magallanes Interchange.
Tolentino pointed out that the floods last Tuesday were not just on Edsa but in most parts of Metro Manila as it even affected the runways at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Meanwhile, Angelito Vergel de dios, former MMDA traffic management director said the traffic could be attributed to obstructions along Edsa and not the volume of vehicles plying the major thoroughfare.
“In Edsa, if there are obstructions, the flow of traffic will not be smooth,” he said.
In order to address traffic problem, de Dios said obstructions should be removed.
“If we remove all the obstructions, vehicle will still move forward, thus, easing traffic congestion,” he said.
He likewise contradicted Tolentino’s view that traffic is caused by the volume of vehicles.
Tolentino said the capacity of vehicles in Edsa is 6,000 per hour and per direction but the actual number of 6,800 vehicles plying it is over the capacity.
De Dios pointed out that obstructions such as illegal terminals of public utility vehicles (PUVs) should be immediately removed.
“One of the causes of traffic is the illegal terminals along Edsa, PUVs load and unload passengers everywhere they want to,” he added.
He also stressed that people with technical knowledge in solving traffic problem should be in the MMDA management.