Aquino: I really felt traffic on Edsa
He can “feel” it—and is taking notes about it.
President Aquino on Friday said he himself was caught in a traffic jam on Edsa recently and had a firsthand experience of the daily misery endured by motorists and commuters on Metro Manila’s busiest thoroughfare.
“Last night, I passed through Edsa and I saw how [it was]. I really felt the traffic that our citizenry go through. Every time I go out of Malacañang, even in the morning, I take note of the areas where there are traffic [problems],” Mr. Aquino told reporters in Eastern Samar province.
He had some figures on hand to tick off: Edsa, he said, has a holding capacity of only 13,600 vehicles per hour but is currently being used by 18,000 vehicles per hour.
He also cited the exponential growth in car sales in the country but said he was particularly surprised by the number of motorcycle sales at 100,000 units per month.
Having 1.2 million motorcycles rolling out in one year would indeed eat up a lot of space on Edsa, he said.
He said he would like to see lasting solutions to the capital’s traffic congestion for he doesn’t want the next administration to inherit the problem.
Directly in charge of easing this perennial urban headache is the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), where President Aquino recently named lawyer Emerson Carlos as the new chair to succeed Francis Tolentino, who had stepped down to run for the Senate in 2016 polls.
Carlos was the MMDA’s assistant general manager.
And as the President pondered the state of Edsa, the MMDA on Friday announced yet another undertaking to improve traffic flow across the metropolis in time for the holiday season.
The agency said it would go “full-blast” in its operations to clear the so-called Mabuhay Lanes of obstructions starting Monday.
In a statement, the MMDA said clearing operations on the 21 Mabuhay routes cover West Avenue, Quezon Avenue, Mindanao Avenue, Estrella and Barangka Drive, among others.
Carlos said MMDA teams will fan out to remove illegally parked vehicles or structures set up by sidewalk vendors. The vehicles will be towed and brought to the nearest MMDA impounding area.
Permits earlier issued by barangay officials allowing vendors to occupy the roads or sidewalks are now “deemed canceled,” the MMDA official added. The MMDA can confiscate the vendors’ merchandise if they refuse to leave, he said.
“We should educate [residents and motorists] that these alternative routes should be free of obstructions or else we would be clearing them repeatedly,” Carlos said.
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