MOTORISTS and commuters should expect heavy traffic in Manila beginning today as some roads will be closed for the annual procession of the Black Nazarene, the Manila Police District (MPD) said on Sunday.
The MPD’s Traffic Enforcement Unit advised motorists to take alternate routes on Tuesday. Millions of devotees will again join the procession that officials say may take as long as 14 hours.
The city government of Manila has cancelled classes and suspended government work on Jan. 9.
On Jan. 8, Katigbak Drive and South Drive will be closed and only one lane will be open going to the Manila Hotel and H2O.
Also, the northbound lane of Quezon Boulevard and McArthur Bridge from Bonifacio Shrine and the stretch of Taft Avenue from Ayala Boulevard to Bonifacio Shrine will also be closed to motorists.
On Jan. 9, the stretch of McArthur, Jones, and Quezon Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic. Both lanes of Quezon Boulevard (Quiapo) will also be closed from A Mendoza / Fugoso Street, and Espana Avenue/P. Campa Street for southbound and from Taft Avenue / Ayala Boulevard for northbound, as well as Roxas Boulevard from Katigbak Drive to TM Kalaw Street.
Motorists were advised to take alternate routes on Jan. 8 and 9. For January 8, light vehicles intending to use the stretch of Bonifacio Drive and Roxas Boulevard southbound shall turn around to Anda Circle going to A. Soriano Avenue; turn right to Gen. Luna Street to Burgos-Orosa Street, then turn left to T.M. Kalaw Street to Taft Avenue to point of destination.
Trucks and other heavy vehicles intending to utilize the stretch of Bonifacio Drive southbound shall turn around Anda Circle going back to Northbound lane of Road 10 to C3 to point of destination.
Vehicles coming from the southern part of Manila intending to use the northbound lane of Roxas Boulevard from T.M. Kalaw Street to P. Burgos Street shall turn right to T.M. Kalaw Street; left to Orosa Street going to Intramuros then left to A. Soriano Avenue to point of destination.
Vehicles traveling along P. Burgos Street shall turn right to Finance Road to Ayala Avenue to point of destination, while those using Taft Avenue northbound shall turn right to Ayala Boulevard to point of destination.
On January 9, cars coming from Quezon City using the stretch of Espana Avenue shall turn right to P. Campa Street, then turn left to A. Mendoza Street, right to Fugoso Street; right to C.M. Recto Avenue or left to Nicanor Reyes Street; right to C.M. Recto Avenue to point of destination.
Vehicles coming from Legarda Street shall turn right to C.M. Recto Avenue or turn left to Mendiola Street to their point of destination.
Vehicles coming from Caloocan City utilizing Rizal Avenue shall turn right to Fugoso Street or C.M. Recto Avenue, to point of destination.
Heavy vehicles or cargo trucks shall take Pres. Osmeña to Pres. Quirino Avenue to Nagtahan via A.H. Lacson Avenue to Capulong Street (vice versa), while buses using Taft Avenue northbound shall turn right to Ayala Avenue to point of destination.
Vehicles coming from Reina Regente Street utilizing southbound lane shall turn right to San Fernando Street or make a U-Turn at Plaza Ruiz to point of destination, and light vehicles intending to utilize the stretch of Bonifacio Drive and Roxas Boulevard southbound shall turn around to Anda Circle going to Delpan or Moriones to point of destination.
Meanwhile, environmentalists group urged Nazarene devotees to observe a “Zero Waste Traslacion.”
The EcoWaste Coalition, Buklod Tao and the Green Brigade Committee of the Quiapo Church urged the millions of devotees who will take part in the Traslacion to express their faith in a manner that is respectful of the environment.
“The epic transfer of the image of the Black Nazarene from the Quirino Grandstand in Luneta to the Quiapo Church presents a huge garbage challenge due the sheer number of people taking part in the popular event,” the group said in a statement.
“The Catholic devotion to the Black Nazarene is truly breathtaking and splendid. Sadly, the annual ‘Traslacion’ is sullied by the unrestrained littering at the “Pahalik” and prayer vigil site in Luneta and along the processional route,” Daniel Alejandre, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition, said.
RAADEE S. SAUSA AND JING VILLAMENTE