Edsa dry run chokes traffic but MMDA declares it a success | Inquirer News
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Edsa dry run chokes traffic but MMDA declares it a success

/ 01:14 AM November 10, 2015
DRY RUN FOR  ‘PUTIN’ LANES         Traffic flow along Edsa comes to a crawl during a dry run for the Apec summit. Two lanes—dubbed “Putin lanes,” between Shaw Boulevard and Mall of Asia—are dedicated to vehicles of Apec delegates and staff. Russian President Vladimir Putin will stay at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel on Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

DRY RUN FOR ‘PUTIN’ LANES Traffic flow along Edsa comes to a crawl during a dry run for the Apec summit. Two lanes—dubbed “Putin lanes,” between Shaw Boulevard and Mall of Asia—are dedicated to vehicles of Apec delegates and staff. Russian President Vladimir Putin will stay at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel on Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

A DRY run on an exclusive lane for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) visitors on Edsa on Monday was declared a rousing success by traffic disciplinarians, contrary to what motorists experienced.

The simulation exercise to make travel a breeze for delegates attending next week’s Apec summit proved to be just that, according to Cris Saruca, head of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic discipline office.

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Saruca told the Inquirer that there were no reported traffic problems during the run, which started at 2 p.m. on the southbound section from Shaw Boulevard to Roxas Boulevard.

Russian leader Vladimir Putin will be billeted at the Shangri-La Plaza in the Shaw area and will be traveling to the Apec meet at the Philippine International Convention Center complex at the edge of Manila Bay. Putin is the only head of state staying in the Shaw area. Most of the delegates will be lodged in the Makati business district.

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“There were no road closures, we just placed the plastic barriers to separate the two innermost lanes of Edsa which will be exclusive for Apec delegates,” Saruca added, noting that a Presidential Security Group (PSG) convoy also passed along the stretch of Edsa without a hiccup.

An Inquirer staff who traveled the route at that time said traffic was a crawl and took 30 minutes longer than the usual hourlong drive, aggravated by an uncommon occurrence of a car bumping another in the stop-and-go snarl.

MMDA Chair Emerson Carlos clarified that his agency was only tapped to help in the simulation and in arranging the plastic barriers but noted that the PSG led the rehearsal.

The 2 p.m. simulation was announced only at 9:27 a.m.

Asked if there was no earlier coordination with the MMDA, Saruca said all traffic concerns were cascaded to the agency days before but that it could not be released to social media. He said a northbound simulation was yet to be scheduled.

The MMDA earlier announced that during the Apec summit on Nov. 17-20, two innermost lanes on either direction of Edsa from Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City to Mall of Asia in Pasay City will be exclusive for Apec delegates and that motorists can expect full closure of Edsa for 30 minutes when heads of state will pass.

Aside from the major traffic advisory, the MMDA also announced that Roxas Boulevard from Katigbak to MIA/Naia Road will be fully closed on both directions from Nov. 16, starting 12:01 a.m., to Nov. 20.

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There will also be closures in the Mall of Asia Arena area from 6 a.m. on Nov. 18 until midnight, specifically on the following roads: Diokno corner Seaside Boulevard, Coral Way corner Seaside, Edsa corner Macapagal, Macapagal corner Coral Way, Diokno corner Aseana and Macapagal corner Bradco.

Roads in the Cultural Center of the Philippines area—Vicente Sotto Street, Bukaneg Street, JW Diokno Boulevard Bridge, Buendia Avenue Extension and M. Jalandoni Street—will also be closed on Nov. 16-20.

The number coding will still be implemented during the Apec summit, while the daytime truck ban will also be observed along the south truck routes.

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