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MMDA wants to make permanent mall’s late opening hours

By: - Reporter / @JLeonenINQ
/ 05:18 PM January 11, 2018

A police officer controls traffic along the Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, popularly known as Edsa. FILE PHOTO / AFP

The implementation of late opening hours for malls along Edsa would end on January 15, but the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) wants to make it permanent as part of a traffic reduction measure amid the government’s “Build Build Build” infrastructure program.

To recall, the MMDA announced last October that mall operators agreed with the agency’s request to open late at 11:00 a.m. and hold nighttime deliveries for nonperishable goods to help ease traffic flow along Edsa from October 15 to January 15.

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Jojo Garcia, MMDA assistant general manager for planning, said a 10% increase in travel speed on the 24-kilometer stretch of Edsa was recorded from late November to early January during its implementation.

“Nagkaroon ng 10% increase sa speed during the holiday season. Eh usually, mas traffic dyan,” Garcia said in a press conference at the MMDA Headquarters on Thursday.

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(There had been a 10-percent increase in the speed [of vehicles along Edsa] during the holiday season. Usually, traffic flow is slower during those times.)

READ: MMDA: Malls adjusting skeds to help ease holiday traffic

“Ang programa ng presidente natin na “Build, Build, Build,” itotodo iyan. Full blast tayo ngayong 2018. Alam natin na ang infrastructures na ito is for the benefit of the public,” he added, stressing the possible impact of the program on traffic.
(The “Build, Build, Build” program of the President will go full swing. We will be in full blast this 2018. We know that these infrastructure [projects] will be for the benefit of the public.)

According to data provided by the MMDA Public Information Office, the average travel speed on Edsa from November was at 19.06 kilometers per hour (kph), showing a 9.29% increase in travel speed from the 17.44 kph average speed in September.

“Before, that’s 17 kilometers per hour. Ngayon, that’s more than 18 kilometers per hour,” Garcia said. “Very insignificant pag tinignan mo kung ilang kilometers per hour (if you would notice how many kilometers per hour), parang naglalakad ka lang dyan.”

“Pero malaking bagay na iyan sa Edsa. Huminto ka lang sa Edsa, that makes three to five kilometers of traffic already,” the MMDA official said.

(But that’s a huge deal on Edsa. Just by stopping along Edsa, that creates three to five kilometers of traffic already.)

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Garcia said mall operators would decide during a meeting on Friday, January 12, whether or not they would agree with the MMDA’s proposal to make permanent the implementation of late opening hours.

The mall operators would also provide figures and other data on how the reset of operating hours would affect their businesses, Garcia said.

“They have until tomorrow to decide,” Garcia said. “Hindi naman natin kaya pilitin sila. Sila naman ang expert dyan, kami hindi. Mas alam nila kung nalulugi sila.”

(We cannot force them. They are the experts here, not us. They know better if they are losing income.)

“We need all help and cooperation with stakeholders and malls, baka pwede paghatian ang mga kakarampot na kalsada sa napakaraming volume ng vehicles, at least shifting tayo pati sa paggamit ng kalsada,” he said.

(Maybe we can share the road with the huge volume of vehicles, at least we can do shifting when using the street.) /jpv

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TAGS: Edsa, malls, Metro, MMDA, opening hours, traffic
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