MMDA: Avoid Edsa despite opening of northbound Asean lane
Motorists along the northbound lane of Edsa could heave a sigh of relief as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) opened to motorists on Saturday night the exclusive lane for delegates attending the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.
On the recommendation of the Asean security and traffic committees, the MMDA allowed motorists at 6 p.m. to use the Asean lane, which for most of the day was closed off, causing traffic to almost ground to a halt.
At 5 p.m., traffic along the northbound lane stretched from Mall of Asia in Pasay City to Balintawak in Quezon City.
But Bong Nebrija, MMDA operations supervisor, advised motorists to still avoid Edsa, despite the opening of the northbound Asean lane, and take alternate routes, such as C5 Road and the Scout area in Quezon City to avoid getting stuck in hours-long traffic.
He noted that once they close off again the Asean lane as early as Suday morning, motorists could not use it since it would be difficult for them to funnel out the cars should a convoy pass by.
Nebrija could not say, however, what time the Asean lane would be closed to traffic since the movement of the convoy and other delegates are on a “need to know basis.”
As of writing, the Asean lane in the Edsa southbound is still closed to motorists since there are still delegates coming in from Pampanga province.
While the public may not have heeded the repeated call of transport authorities not to use Edsa for the duration of the Asean summit till Wednesday, Nebrija admitted that their efforts, too, may have been wanting.
“The problem is we never rehearsed the northbound [lane of Edsa]. Our priority was the southbound [lane],” Nebrija said.
In the six convoy dry runs, authorities practiced how they would ferry world leaders from Clark International Airport in Pampanga province to the summit venues in Pasay City.
So far, two Asean leaders have arrived in the country: Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen and Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi. The two, however, didn’t motor to Manila and will stay for the night in Clark Freeport. /atm
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