Expect heavy NLEx traffic, MMDA warns ahead of ‘Eat Bulaga’ event
With TV show Eat Bulaga’s big event at the Philippine Arena on Saturday, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) warned motorists of possible heavy traffic along the North Luzon Expressway (NLEx) and advised them to plan their trips if they are going to Bulacan and other northern destinations over the weekend.
MMDA officer in charge Emerson Carlos said motorists should first check the traffic situation along NLEx on Saturday to avoid getting stuck in gridlock.
Dubbed as the “Sa Tamang Panahon” grand celebration, the noontime variety show’s event, which gained popularity because of the hit AlDub (Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza aka “Yaya Dub”) loveteam, has sold out tickets for the 55,000-seater arena at Ciudad de Victoria in Bocaue and Santa Maria, Bulacan in just two days.
Since the tickets were sold out early, fans have started a petition on Twitter to open the adjacent Philippine Sports Stadium which has a maximum seating capacity of 25,000 for a live viewing of the event.
“If these numbers are right then people should really expect traffic along NLEx on Saturday,” added Carlos.
He explained that since this is not an organized event unlike Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) celebrations, people who bought tickets are expected to come using their own private vehicles.
“During previous INC gatherings, the people went to the stadium aboard shuttle buses,” the MMDA OIC added.
He also noted that there are no buses from Metro Manila that will transport people directly to the Philippine Arena.
Last July, about two million INC members attended the centennial celebration at the indoor arena utilizing an estimated 10,000 buses and 2,400 private vehicles.
Most of the vehicles were not able to park at the grounds of the Ciudad de Victoria prompting the MMDA to designate parking areas in some adjacent roads like the Sta. Maria bypass, Balagtas bypass along MacArthur Highway from Monumento to Calumpit, Bulacan and a portion of the Mindanao Avenue Extension.
“In anticipation of the event, we will be deploying additional men along Balintawak and Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City,” Carlos said noting that these are the entry and exit points to NLEx.
As for the deployment at the Philippine Arena, the MMDA OIC said the Bulacan police has not yet reached out to them to ask for assistance.
“We are willing to assist them but they have not yet sent a formal request,” he noted.
Carlos added that during INC celebrations at the arena, the agency usually sends a 200-man team to assist in traffic management. Maricar B. Brizuela/CDG
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