San Juan City blinks on Mabuhay Lanes
The San Juan city government has agreed to amend a 1998 ordinance to accommodate the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) road clearing operations for the Mabuhay Lanes, a day after a conflict cropped up over the traffic scheme.
In an interview Friday, the city’s public information officer, Grace Pardines, said Mayor Guia Gomez met with city councilors regarding an “urgent amendment” to Ordinance No. 40 to be tackled possibly on Monday.
Gomez also met with representatives from the MMDA, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group to iron out certain issues, such as alternative parking areas for vehicles in San Juan which may have to give way to the Mabuhay scheme.
On Thursday, the local government invoked the ordinance to prevent the MMDA from removing vehicles parked on Club Filipino Avenue and Annapolis Street.
The local measure designated the two roads and several others as pay parking zones, allowing City Hall to collect fees from motorists.
According to Pardines, the MMDA agreed to keep the “status quo” on San Juan streets covered by Mabuhay, pending the amendment.
In a statement, Gomez explained that while her administration was “always supportive of national programs,” it must first address issues such as the one posed by the city ordinance.
“The city government is seriously considering revisiting our old traffic and parking resolutions and ordinances…. We adhere to what’s best for the city and our people and we would, of course, see to it that interagency programs such as this will be addressed,” Gomez said.
Pardines recalled that during the time of MMDA Chair Bayani Fernando, streets in San Juan’s Greenhills commercial area were not covered by the Mabuhay Lanes (then called Christmas Lanes), because of the ordinance and the high volume of shoppers.
The Mabuhay Lanes are a network of alternative routes for motorists who want to avoid heavy traffic on Edsa during the holiday season.
Once the ordinance is amended, Pardines said, about 90 people working for the local government as parking attendants may have to be transferred to other departments.
She could not immediately give figures when asked how much the local government earns from the collection of parking fees. Under the ordinance, motorists are charged P20 for the first three hours and P10 per succeeding hour.
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