Flying out? MMDA clears route to airport
MANILA, Philippines—With roads near the airport expected to be congested this All Saints’ Day weekend, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has provided alternate routes and opened a zipper lane for motorists going to the airports.
MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino said the agency expects heavy traffic along roads near the airports starting today until Sunday since many would be going home to the provinces. He noted that an estimated 42,000 passengers would flock to the airport during weekend.
‘‘We also considered the ongoing construction of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Elevated Expressway Phase 2 which will surely cause vehicle jam near the airports,” he added.
Tolentino also noted that the airport is adjacent to three major cemeteries in Metro Manila (Manila Memorial Park and Loyola Memorial Park in Parañaque and the Pasay City Public Cemetery) where big crowds are expected.
The traffic plan calls for vehicles to be allowed to turn left from Andrews Avenue to Tramo/Edsa to decongest the route to Naia Terminal 3 from Andrews.
A zipper lane along the southbound lane of Tramo Road opened on Thursday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for vehicles going to Terminal 3 so that they can avoid the lane in front of the Pasay cemetery.
Neomie Recio, MMDA Traffic Engineering head, said one lane would be opened near the rotunda in front of the Villamor Hospital for U-turning vehicles going to the Skyway and Sales Interchange.
Aside from these measures, the MMDA also proposed alternate routes to avoid heavy traffic in going to the airport. Vehicles from Cavite and Las Piñas City can take the service road from Don Galo to Naia Road to reach the airport.
Motorists are also advised to use the Airport Road instead of the Naia Road if they are coming from Roxas Boulevard going to Terminal 3 and the Domestic Terminal.
According to Tolentino, another fast way to get to the Terminals 1 and 2 from Magallanes in Makati City is to use the Skyway then head to the Bicutan Exit toward Doña Soledad which will take motorists to E. Rodriguez, to Kaingin Road then to Multinational Village which leads directly to Terminals 1 and 2.
‘‘If you are going to use this alternate route, it will take you only about 45 minutes to reach the international airport terminal from Magallanes,” Tolentino told the media during the test ride along the substitute route on Thursday.
The MMDA chair explained that these traffic measures became effective since Thursday and would be observed until Nov. 3.
If these measures succeed in decongesting traffic near the airports, the plan would be continued until the Christmas holiday and maybe even until 2016 since the Naia Expressway is expected to be finished that year, he explained.
Tolentino also advised those who will be traveling to the airports to leave their houses four to five hours before their scheduled flights to avoid being caught in heavy traffic.
He assured motorists that a total of 115 traffic constables will be deployed along roads near the airports starting Friday until Nov. 3. Maricar B. Brizuela