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Heavy traffic as more roads closed due to Apec

/ 12:40 AM November 19, 2015

The sudden closure of more roads in Metro Manila on Wednesday due to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) meetings once again caused heavy traffic and a longer commute for thousands.

At 7 a.m., the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced that it had shut down several roads like the stretch from Edsa-Ayala in Makati City to Edsa Extension in Pasay City, Roxas Boulevard (from Naia Road in Parañaque City to Katigbak in Pasay), Diokno Avenue (from Seaside Boulevard to Edsa), Macapagal Avenue from Aseana to Buendia Extension, Edsa-Magallanes Interchange in Makati City (both directions), and Skyway (Sales to Magallanes Exit, both directions).

The MMDA said it also implemented the “stop-and-go scheme” around 9:45 a.m. near Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), Taft Avenue to Osmeña Highway, Quirino Avenue and Lawton Avenue, all in Manila; Edsa-Macapagal northbound to Magallanes Service Road and Edsa-Tramo northbound in Pasay.

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Due to the closures, the vicinity of SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City—one of the Apec venues—became a virtual no-man’s land since almost all streets leading to the area were on lockdown except for parts of Macapagal Avenue, which served as an alternative route.

To avoid being inconvenienced, around 500 employees of a call center company near the mall decided to spend the night at their office. An employee said their firm had deployed shuttle buses but some of them chose not to go home anymore.

MMDA General Manager Corazon Jimenez explained that the traffic scheme in some roads were being adjusted depending on the itinerary of the Apec leaders.

As for the late announcement of road closures, Jimenez said that for security reasons, the schedules of the world leaders are not given to the MMDA in advance.

Jimenez listed several alternative routes for affected motorists in the southern part of the metropolis, as the road closures are expected to remain in effect today:

  • Edsa southbound will be diverted to Gil Puyat Avenue or U-turn to Kalayaan in Makati City;
  • Edsa northbound will be diverted to Magallanes Service Road, South Luzon Expressway, Sales Bridge, C5, or Lawton/BGC;
  • Vehicles from Cavitex who cannot exit on Macapagal Boulevard or Naia Avenue must make a U-turn on Macapagal Boulevard;
  • Vehicles from Edsa southbound should turn left on McKinley, then C-5 toward destination;
  • Vehicles to Manila, right on Gil Puyat Avenue to destination;

Meanwhile, MMDA Chair Emerson Carlos said four buses and three military trucks had been deployed to offer free rides to commuters affected by the closure of Roxas Boulevard, ferrying them from MIA Road to Heritage Hotel.

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TAGS: APEC 2015, Apec road closures, Metro, news, traffic
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