Traffic scheme causes gridlocks

Perseus Echeminada - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) closed yesterday afternoon the westbound lane of Ayala Avenue and portions of North Street and Parkway Drive in Makati as part of preparations for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, causing monstrous traffic jams that stranded motorists and commuters.

The road closure caused traffic buildup along the southbound lane of EDSA, according to the MMDA Traffic Control Center.

The MMDA, in an advisory, said the traffic plan for Makati Central District was implemented from 3 p.m. up to 11 p.m. yesterday.

The road closure will last until Tuesday in Ayala Avenue while the closure of North Street, West Drive and Parkway will be until Thursday.

The MMDA said the agency will also implement today the closure of Roxas Boulevard and the official activation of the APEC lane along EDSA, which will be for the exclusive use of vehicles of foreign and local delegates coming from Makati and Mandaluyong.

MMDA chairman Emerson Carlos said the stretch of Roxas Boulevard from Manila Hotel to Airport Road in Parañaque would be closed effective 1 a.m. today.

“Motorists are advised to use alternate routes along the side of Roxas Boulevard,” he said.

He said the stop-and-go traffic scheme would also be implemented while APEC vehicles carrying heads of state are traveling along EDSA.

Even the Metro Manila Transit (MRT) will stop while the APEC vehicles are traveling along EDSA.

The stop-and-go scheme is expected to last 20 to 30 minutes.

Manila re-routing

Authorities will close several streets in Manila and motorists were urged to take alternate routes during the APEC summit this week.

In a traffic advisory, the Manila District Traffic Enforcement Unit (MDTEU) and the Manila Traffic Parking Bureau (MTPB) said all roads leading to the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), the venue of the APEC meetings, will be closed starting midnight today up to midnight on Friday.

The main arteries that will be closed to traffic include both lanes of Roxas Boulevard from Katigbak Drive up to P. Ocampo Street, the stretch of Roxas Boulevard’s service road from Sta. Monica Street to P. Ocampo Street and the stretch of Quirino Avenue from Roxas Boulevard to Adriatico Street.

Also included is the stretch of Century Park Street from Adriatico up to Mabini Street and the stretch of Mabini Street from P. Ocampo Street to Quirino Avenue.

The southbound lane of Adriatico Street from Quirino Avenue to Century Park Street and P. Ocampo Street from Adriatico Street to Roxas Boulevard will also be closed to traffic.

M.H. del Pilar Street from Sta. Monica Street up to Malvar Street, and the stretch of Pedro Gil Street from Roxas Boulevard up to Mabini Street will also be closed to traffic.

The traffic bureau, however, has come out with a rerouting scheme for motorists for the duration of the APEC meeting.

All vehicles coming from the northern part of Manila Port Area that will use the southbound lane of Roxas Boulveard will have to turn right on P. Burgos Street, right on Maria Orosa Street or Taft Avenue on their way to their destination.

Vehicles coming from the southern part of Manila that want to use the northbound lane of Roxas Boulevard should turn right to Gil Puyat Avenue, left to Taft Avenue, while motorists who will pass through P. Ocampo Street from Taft Avenue should turn right at Adriatico Street, right on Leveriza Street up to Quirino Avenue.

All vehicles using the westbound lane of President Quirino Ave. from Osmeña Highway (Plaza Dilao) going to Roxas Boulevard are advised to turn right or left at Taft Avenue to their destination, while those coming from Del Pilar Street that are going to take Roxas Boulevard should turn left at Quirino Avenue to Taft Avenue.

Motorists are also advised not to park on the service road of Roxas Boulevard from T.M. Kalaw Street to President Quirino Avenue. – With Rey Galupo

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