Malacañang on Tuesday assured the public that traffic management plans are now in place as motorists and commuters brace for a traffic gridlock due to the construction of major road projects across the southern Metropolitan Manila.
Presidential Commnuications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) have prepared plans to address the problem, including road widening and rerouting schemes.
At the same time, the government encourages motorists and commuters to adopt “voluntary remedial measures” in coping with heavy traffic.
He said these could include community carpooling and company flexi-time and home office arrangements.
“Voluntary remedial measures such as community carpooling and company initiated flexi-time and home office arrangements for affected employees can contribute to easing traffic congestion,” Coloma told reporters in a press conference.
“We would rather focus for now on the voluntary measures because these are more effective and involve what the concerned parties want to do,” he added.
The construction of the 14.8-kilometer Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway Phase 2 projects started Monday night, and is expected to worsen metropolitan traffic in the coming years.
However, Coloma asked for patience from the public, saying that the construction of such projects would only cause “short-term inconvenience.”
“We renew our call that we share in the burden of sacrifice, and bear with the short-term inconvenience, so we can reap the benefits of faster travel and higher productivity,” he said.
“We should also recognize that many of our people are willing to do the necessary sacrifice that is needed and they are willing to bear with the inconvenience. This is not the first time we had issues involving major projects like this,” he added
Traffic began hitting gridlocks on Monday night near the project sites and even along some proposed alternate routes.
The MMDA has proposed the alternate routes for private vehicles as the Skyway Stage 3 construction went on full swing on Tuesday.
• Along President Quirino Avenue, turn left at Roxas Boulevard, right at Senator Gil Puyat Avenue, left at Macapagal Boulevard to point of destination
• Along President Quirino Avenue, turn left A. Mabini, straignt to F.B. Harrison, right at EDSA, to point of destination
• Along President Quirino Avenue, left at Leon Guinto, straight to P. Zamora to destination
• Along Pedro, turn right Tejeron, right at Don Chino Roces Avenue to point of destination
• Along Pedro Gil, turn right at Onyx, left at Zobel Roxas, right at Kalayaan Avenue, right at Don Chino Roces Avenue to destination
The Skyway 3 will connect the North Luzon (NLex) and South Luzon Expressways (Slex)lwith an elevated expressway over Osmeña Highway, which links Slex with Manila’s Quirino Avenue.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said they are expecting a traffic gridlock during the construction of Skyway Stage 3 as two lanes (Southbound) of the Osmeña highway will be closed to traffic.
“If we close two lanes of the Osmeña highway, the travel speed will be reduced to 10 to 19 kms. per hour from the current 30 to 39 kms. per hour,” he said.
The construction of the project is expected to run for at least two years.
Traffic from Makati City, including that along the southbound part of Osmeña Highway near San Andres, has started to be affected by the closure of two inner lanes of the Osmeña Highway.