TRAFFIC flow has improved on Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (Edsa) despite the surge of vehicles this holiday season, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said.
In its comparative survey, the MMDA said that there is now a 28-minute decrease in travel time on the 23-kilometer main thoroughfare.
The MMDA said the average travel time from Roxas Boulevard in the south to Monumento in the north and vice versa on December 22 was one hour and 10 minutes, with travel speed of 19.54 kilometers per hour.
It was a slight improvement from last year’s one hour and 39 minutes, with 13.91-kilometer per hour travel speed on the same date.
The agency also reported an increase of 11,499 in the volume of vehicles using Edsa on December 21 bringing the total no to 357,529 vehicles, compared to 346,030 on the same period in 2015.
Some commuters, however, did not feel any improvement in the flow of traffic. They said they would still opt to ride the usually jam-packed MRT despite frequent breakdowns and delays just to avoid the congestion on Edsa.
“We still ride the MRT because we can time our trips accordingly unlike road trips on the ground because traffic has really worsened,” Remy Martin, a bank employee working in Makati City, fumed while lining up at the MRT North Avenue station.
Katrina Fabre, an office worker in Quezon City, added, “We have no choice because if you take the bus, you will only be trapped in traffic that hardly moves.”
“Even if the line at the MRT is long, it still moves and once you ride the train, the trip is fast,” Dennis Caacbay, a construction worker in Makati City, said.
MMDA General Manager Thomas Orbos, on the other hand, said that motorists have been more cooperative even after several barriers and delineators were removed from portions of Edsa.
“Even without these barriers, motorists still follow the traffic rules, particularly the Yellow Lane, which is exclusively designated for public passenger buses,” Orbos said.
Orbos also noted the initiatives of motorcycle riders’ federations and public transport groups in helping and coming out with stakeholder-specific solutions to traffic in recent months.
“The agency is grateful to these groups who made possible the strict enforcement of our existing traffic rules and regulations. With the cooperation of their ranks, there is now a semblance of discipline in our roads,” he said.
Aside from the cooperation of various stakeholders, Orbos said the agency, along with the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-Act), also started strictly enforcing the “Nose-in, Nose-out” policy for provincial buses along Edsa.
“We have been making headway in decongesting these areas where the provincial bus terminals are located along Edsa with our stringent enforcement of the policy,” he added. MICHAEL JOE T. DELIZO and JAMES KONSTANTIN GALVEZ