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Expect heavy traffic on SLEx during Holy Week exodus

/ 09:56 PM April 09, 2014

Edsa on a regular day. This scenario will be duplicated in various highways like SLEx due to the Holy Week exodus. INQUIRER file photo

LAGUNA, Philippines—The operator of the South Luzon Expressway (SLEx) is expecting heavy traffic during the Holy Week exodus, with the  number of motorists peaking on Holy Wednesday and Maundy Thursday.

SLEx Traffic and Security Manager Chito Silbol said they were expecting about 295,000 vehicles on each day, an increase of 10 to 15 percent from last year that reached 263,000 daily during the same period.

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The daily average of motorists taking the lone artery down south of Luzon is 240,000 on a regular day or when it is not a national holiday.

“Basically, (the projection is based on) the growing number of vehicles,” he said in a phone interview Wednesday.

As a remedy to the long queuing, particularly nearing SLEX’s Calamba toll plaza and at the Ayala Greenfield toll, SLEx is opening counterflow lanes on the southbound lane on April 16 and 17, Holy Wednesday and Maundy Thursday, respectively, and on the northbound lane from April 19-21 (Black Saturday, Easter Sunday and Monday) in preparation for the influx of motorists returning to Manila.

Silbol said they would also deploy additional ambulant tellers and put up motorist assistance desks on these dates to speed up traffic flow.

“The best way is to always plan your trip. When you know what to expect, you may avoid being caught in heavy traffic on these dates,” Silbol said.

Meanwhile, the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) police, with 10,000 personnel, would deploy forces to tourist destinations, such as churches and beach areas, during the long holiday break, according to regional police director Chief Supt. Jesus Gatchalian.

He said they have also coordinated with security personnel of private subdivisions to guard against burglars while the homeowners are on vacation.

Silbol advised motorists to drive safely “so as to prevent accidents being a burden to other motorists.”

Passengers of public utility vehicles, he said, should also be “empowered” to reprimand reckless and over speeding drivers.

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SLEx has recorded 102 road accidents in January this year, 80 in February, 73 in March, and 23 from April 1 to 4.

While the number decreases, “our target is always zero accident,” Silbol said.

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TAGS: Batangas, Calabarzon, Cavite, Chito Silbol, counterflow lanes, highways, Holy Week, Laguna, News, quezon, Rizal, roads, South Luzon Expressway, Tollways, Traffic management, Travel, Vacation
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