Traffic choke points in Metro Manila identified

Mike Frialde - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) yesterday identified several traffic choke points in the metropolis that need emergency powers to resolve.

Former MMDA chairman Emerson Carlos said granting emergency powers to President Duterte would solve the worsening traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

Carlos said giving the President emergency powers would enable the government to create more infrastructure projects and prevent billions in economic losses caused by the traffic mess.

“It is better to use the emergency powers for infrastructure projects to solve traffic congestion because there is no instant solution for infrastructure. We can do it (infrastructure) but it will take more than two years before we can start the project,” he said.

Carlos said the emergency powers could be used by Duterte to unify traffic laws, rules and policies implemented by the national government and local government units.

“There should be rationalization of traffic laws, like for example, we are implementing a no parking zone but the concerned local government unit there has a different policy, which allows parking. So, there should be a common policy,” he said.

The MMDA identified seven traffic choke points along EDSA. These are Balintawak Market Road, Aurora Boulevard, Ortigas Avenue, Shaw Boulevard, Guadalupe, Ayala Avenue and Taft Avenue.

Roads leading to and from Manila North Harbor area, particularly Circumferential Road-3, A. Mabini street, Dagat-Dagatan Avenue, North Bay Boulevard and Radial Road 10 are identified as traffic choke points.

In southern Metro Manila: roads leading to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminals, particularly the Airport Road, Domestic Road, Andrews Avenue, Tramo Avenue, Sucat Avenue and Sales Road, and Alabang-Zapote Road and Circulo del Mundo Avenue.

 In northern Metro Manila: Rizal Avenue, Samson Road, Gen. Malvar street, MacArthur Highway, Karuhatan Road, Gen. De Leon, Pio Valenzuela and Gen. De Jesus.

 In the eastern part of Metro Manila: Santolan, Gil Fernando Bridge, Marcos Highway, San Juan Intersection, Pasig Intersection and Meralco Avenue.

 The congested areas in Quezon City are Boni Serrano Avenue, Araneta Avenue, Timog Avenue, E. Rodriguez Avenue, Katipunan Avenue, C.P. Garcia Avenue, Magsaysay Avenue, Capitol Intersection, Luzon flyover, J.P. Rizal, Ayala Heights Rotunda, Mirriam gate and the Ateneo gate.

Traffic choke points in Manila are Bonifacio Drive, Roxas Boulevard, España Boulevard, Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard, Jose Abad Santos Avenue, Claro M. Recto Avenue, Sen. Osmeña Highway and Rizal Avenue or Carriedo.

“The traffic situation in the metropolis was also caused by undisciplined motorists, illegally-parked vehicles and illegal structures of bus and jeepney terminals,” Crisanto Saruca, head of the MMDA’s traffic discipline office, said.

Saruca said the lack of a modern mass transport system and the increasing number of vehicles on the roads also contributed to the traffic woes.

‘Emergency corruption’

Meanwhile, the grant of emergency powers to enable President Duterte to deal with the traffic problem in Metro Manila could lead to “emergency corruption,” Rep. Lito Atienza of party-list group Buhay said.

Duterte does not need special powers to address the traffic mess, “which is largely due to corruption, incompetence, bad enforcement and poor compliance with traffic laws,” Atienza said.

Atienza said bus operators routinely bribe local government and police officials so they can use roads as their terminals and parking areas.

The authorities allow unregistered and illegal vehicles to continue to proliferate, he added.

 “These and other persistent bottleneck issues may be addressed without emergency powers,” Atienza said.

He warned his colleagues in Congress that erring officials could take advantage of the proposed special authority to Duterte to take shortcuts in the procurement process.

“Crooked officials are bound to exploit alternate procurement schemes like negotiated contracts to make more money for themselves at the expense of taxpayers,” he said.

Atienza noted that the proposed alternative modes of procurement include “limited source bidding or selective bidding, direct contracting or single source procurement, repeat order, shopping and negotiated procurement.” – With Jess Diaz, Delon Porcalla


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