Motorists were moving slowly on both lanes of Rizal Avenue near 2nd Avenue in Caloocan and Abad Santos Avenue in Manila where the Manila North Cemetery and Chinese Cemetery are located after private vehicles parked along the already clogged roads starting at around 8 a.m.
Michael Varcas
Streets near cemeteries turned into parking lots
Rey Galupo (The Philippine Star) - November 2, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Traffic was heavy along the routes leading to cemeteries in Manila yesterday as millions visited their departed loved ones, and residents made money by turning streets into paid parking lots.

Motorists were moving slowly on both lanes of Rizal Avenue near 2nd Avenue in Caloocan and Abad Santos Avenue in Manila where the Manila North Cemetery and Chinese Cemetery are located after private vehicles parked along the already clogged roads starting at around 8 a.m.

Residents nearby made a killing by turning the streets into parking areas while ambulant vendors set up stalls and occupied sidewalks.

Parking cost between P50 to P75 per car and even side streets along 1st and 2nd Avenues were used as parking areas.

Corazon Angeles, 53, said she had converted the space in front of her house as a paid parking area “because we are not only helping those who are visiting their departed loved ones but it is also the time of the year when we earn a little from the inconvenience.”

Traffic was also heavy along Aurora Boulevard Extension, Blumenttrit Street, A. Bonifacio Avenue, Dimasalang Street and portions of Laong Laan Street that all lead to Manila North Cemetery.

The Manila local government has designated Craig Street, Simon Street, F. Huertas Street, Sulu Street, Oroquieta Street and Metrica Street as parking areas but these were already full as early as 9 a.m., forcing motorists to find alternative places to park their vehicles.

The entrance of the Chinese Cemetery near the boundary of Manila and Caloocan in Rizal Avenue Extension was clogged with vehicles, but the presence of traffic enforcers and parking boys helped ease traffic.

Some 110,000 people visited the columbaries and cemeteries in Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela cities yesterday, All Saints’ Day.

As of yesterday afternoon, at least 76,300 people visited the columbaries and cemeteries in Caloocan, 25,000 in Valenzuela, 5,414 in Malabon, and 4,400 in Navotas, according to the Northern Police District.

Caloocan registered the highest number of prohibited items confiscated yesterday – 169 pointed weapons, 116 metal objects, 111 cigarette packs, 58 flammable items, 52 liquor bottles, 39 paint cans, 11 knives, seven forks, two hammers, two card packs, two scissors and a screwdriver.

No untoward incidents were recorded by police in the area yesterday.

Unlike in previous years, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported that traffic was “lighter than usual” during the observance of All Saints’ Day yesterday. 

Bong Nebrija, supervising operations officer of the MMDA, said a lot of factors contributed to smooth traffic flow for both the northbound and southbound lanes on EDSA. 

Nebrija said the late opening of malls, most of the people going to the cemeteries and the huge number of people who went on vacation eased traffic congestion in the metropolis.  

“Yesterday’s traffic was lighter than usual, including the terminals – the traffic wasn’t that bad,” Nebrija said. 

He said manageable traffic was reported at North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) and South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) as well on streets leading to cemeteries. – With Marc Jayson Cayabyab, Romina Cabrera, Non Alquitran

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