MMDA tries shorter Edsa lane barriers
THEY’RE much shorter—but are they safer?
“Concrete delineators” that rise just four to six inches off the pavement on Edsa will soon replace the much taller plastic and concrete barriers, which have been blamed for recent vehicular accidents on the country’s busiest highway.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said the first stretch of the new lane separators had been installed from Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City to Buendia in Makati City, where the agency is strictly implementing the “yellow lane policy” for buses.
“The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) designed those concrete separators or delineators in such a way that buses using the outer lanes of Edsa can go over them to get to the private vehicle lanes in case of an emergency,” said MMDA Traffic Discipline Office head Cris Saruca.
However, private vehicles cannot cross these separators to transfer to the bus lanes, Saruca said in a briefing on Tuesday.
The DPWH will next put reflectors and hazard signs on the concrete separators, the MMDA official said, adding that the new measure was one of the solutions proposed during the meetings of the Edsa traffic technical working group (TWG).
The orange plastic barriers were introduced on Edsa in November last year to designate VIP lanes during the country’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit. The TWG has since decided to make them a fixture on the highway.
Although intended to speed up vehicular flow, the barriers have lately been blamed for recent mishaps on Edsa, some of them recorded on video by motorists. Last month, a passenger bus sideswiped a row of plastic barriers and sent them tumbling onto the path of vehicles on another lane.
Another video showed a row of plastic barriers—supposedly filled with water—being knocked out of place by a strong gust of wind in front of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong. The MMDA maintained that its traffic teams regularly fill the barriers with water but that some barriers may become lighter as the water quickly evaporates in the heat.
For Ricardo Ramos, executive director of the Citizens Infrastructure Integrity Watchdog (Infrawatch), a nongovernment organization that monitors public infrastructure projects, the concrete delineators could actually be more dangerous than the old barriers that are being replaced.
“You will certainly miss them because they are low and not visible,” Ramos said in an interview Wednesday. “I have not seen that kind of animal (in other countries). Definitely, these are not advisable because they pose traffic hazards especially at night.’’
“There is no benefit at all because these are dangerous barriers. The plastic ones are actually better and safer because they are able to hold traffic and not cause serious accidents,” Ramos stressed, adding that the new separators were “unnecessary (and) a waste of funds.”
Some MMDA traffic constables manning the Shaw-Boni stretch of Edsa seem to agree. “A motorcycle driver hit them last weekend and sustained bruises on his arms,” one enforcer told the Inquirer.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.