WITH the overlapping construction of the various government infrastructure projects, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Wednesday expressed fear that there will be a traffic nightmare in the metropolis.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said at least 13 infrastructure projects will be constructed side-by-side in several parts of Metro Manila starting this year up to 2016 or before the term of President Benigno Aquino 3rd ends.
He said this year alone, various major infrastructure projects are about to be constructed in full swing which will result to heavy traffic congestion in several thoroughfares.
He cited the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Elevated Expressway, Epifanio De los Santos Ave. (EDSA)-Taft flyover, Skyway 3, C-5 to McKinley Ramps as well as the repair of Magallanes interchange.
“EDSA will not only be affected by these projects but other thoroughfares such as the South Super Highway, Global City, Magallanes, Andrews, Tramo or almost all,” Tolentino told reporters after the Metro Manila Regional Development Council (MMRDC) meeting.
Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, chairman of the Traffic Committee of the Metro Manila Council (MMC), the policy-making body of MMDA echoed Tolentino’s fear saying motorists will brace a “traffic riot.”
“That’s a riot,” said Bautista when asked to describe how these infrastructure projects will affect traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
To address the problem, Tolentino said the MMC will be calling a Traffic Summit on the first week of February to formulate the Traffic Management Plan in preparation for the simultaneous construction of infrastructure projects.
“We have to plan alternate routes and rerouting and we might activate our Mabuhay lanes so that they can be used by the affected motorists,” he added.
At the same time, the MMDA chief appealed for motorists to be more patient in dealing with the expected worsening traffic condition in the metropolis.
“Ang kailangan ay pasensya sa mga motorista [What we need is patience for our motorists],” he added.
He said once these projects will be completed in the first quarter of 2016, traffic in Metro Manila will greatly improve.
During the RDC meeting attended by Tolentino and 13 Metro Manila mayors, the Council gave its go-signal to several infrastructure projects to be undertaken by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC).
These include the Light Railway Transit (LRT) 2 East Extension Project, LRT-1 North Extension Project Common Station, Integrated Transport System Terminals (North and South), C-5 to McKinley Ramps, Skyway 3, and Bonifacio Global City to Ortigas Center Link Road Project, EDSA-North Mindanao interchange.
Among those who attended the RDC meeting were Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin “JunJun” Binay, Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos, Pasay Mayor Antonino Calixto, San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez,
Pateros Mayor Joey Medina, Marikina Mayor Del de Guzman, Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez, Caloocan Mayor Oscar Malapitan, Pasig Mayor Belen Eusebio, Navotas Mayor John Rey Tiangco, Malabon Mayor Antolin Oreta and
Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi. RITCHIE A. HORARIO