The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is considering allowing the counterflow of vehicles on EDSA during rush hours to ease traffic on the highway.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino on Sunday said he has directed the agency’s Traffic Engineering Center (TEC) to study the proposal to set up “reversible” or “zipper” lanes on EDSA.
“We are just waiting for the result of the study being conducted by the TEC regarding the reversible lane along EDSA,” Tolentino said on the MMDA’s weekly radio program.
Under the proposal, EDSA’s southbound lane will be opened for counterflowing from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and the northbound lane from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Tolentino noted that traffic is heavy on the southbound lane in the early morning since more vehicles are heading towards the Makati City area.
After office hours, motorists from Makati head towards the Quezon City area, according to Tolentino.
“If you notice, fewer vehicles ply the northbound lane in the morning since most of them are heading towards Makati so we can also open it for southbound vehicles,” he said.
The MMDA has already tried out the scheme when it allowed counterflowing at the Rockwell flyover.
”We already tried this at the Rockwell flyover and the result is good,” Tolentino said.
Besides opening reversible lanes, Tolentino said that traffic EDSA could further improve once the Bus Management and Dispatch System is fully implemented.
He said the three integrated bus terminals (ITS) will be completed this year.
Once the terminals open, provincial buses will be banned on EDSA and some metro roads.
Tolentino said the ITS for the southbound provincial buses, located in a private lot at the Uniwide Coastal Mall, Coastal Road, Paranaque City, is in the final stage of completion.
The terminal, which will serve as connecting hub of provincial and city buses, can accommodate at least 972 buses bound for Cavite and Batangas.
The project will not only decongest EDSA but will cut short the trips of provincial buses, Tolentino said.
At least 85 provincial bus terminals are located in Metro Manila, and 46 of them are along EDSA, contributing to the daily vehicular traffic.
There are 28,432 provincial buses nationwide, 7,736 of which enter Metro Manila.
RITCHIE A. HORARIO