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Weekend sale caused traffic jams; malls asked to warn MMDA of big events

/ 06:32 PM July 19, 2015
RICHARD A. REYES/FILE PHOTO

RICHARD A. REYES/FILE PHOTO

As the long weekend coincided with huge mall sales — which subsequently led to heavy traffic — the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) asked mall operators to coordinate with the agency whenever big events would be staged in these commercial establishments.

On Saturday, disgruntled commuters complained about the heavy traffic along EDSA, particularly along the intersection of North and Mindanao Avenues, which MMDA Traffic Discipline Office chief Cris Saruca said was partly caused by malls having their end-of-season sales.

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“There were a lot of people on the road perhaps because it was a long weekend and a lot of families took trips,” Saruca said.

According to the MMDA, the traffic volume usually rises about 5 to 10 percent because of malls’ sale and other activities of business establishments.

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To avoid similar episodes in the future, Emerson Carlos, MMDA assistant general manager for operations, have asked mall operators to inform MMDA in advance about huge events expected to pull in crowds, like mall sales and concerts, so that MMDA can augment their personnel in anticipation of heavier traffic.

While the deployed MMDA traffic constables along areas with malls have not been enough in regulating traffic, deputized mall guards could aid in traffic decongestion, Carlos said. The agency earlier conducted trainings for mall personnel in traffic management so that their own people could help in easing traffic gridlock near their business establishments.

Meanwhile, other portions of EDSA along Mandaluyong were also closed to traffic over the weekend, as the city held a Zumba Festival in a successful attempt to break the Guinness World Record for “largest zumba class in a single location,” MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said.

Also, the scheduled reblocking along southbound Aurora Boulevard over the weekend, was postponed as the Department of Public Works and Highways personnel went on an early vacation.

Tolentino clarified, however, that what caused the heavy traffic were the huge malls’ sales and the Zumba Festival in Mandaluyong.

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TAGS: Aurora Boulevard, Cris Saruca, Emerson Carlos, Francis Tolentino, Guinness World Record, Holidays, largest zumba class in a single location, mall sale, Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, MMDA, news, Reblocking, traffic, traffic congestion, traffic jam, Zumba Festival
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