Senators buck exclusive motorcycle lane on EDSA

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star
Senators buck exclusive motorcycle lane on EDSA
dedicated motorcycle lane is questionable given the limited road space, Sen. Grace Poe, who chairs of the Senate committee on public services, said.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — Data-driven solutions to address traffic congestion are needed, senators said yesterday as they opposed the proposed exclusive lane for motorcycles along EDSA.

A dedicated motorcycle lane is questionable given the limited road space,  Sen. Grace Poe, who chairs of the Senate committee on public services, said.

“The intention to decongest EDSA is understandable, but we are curious how the DOTr (Deparment of Transportation) will put up a dedicated lane considering the limited road space as it is,” Poe said.

To date, EDSA hosts a busway on the innermost lane and a bicycle lane beside the sidewalk.

An exclusive motorcycle lane to be put up beside the bicycle lane is being studied to address traffic jams, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said on Sunday. ?

EDSA currently has a non-exclusive motorcycle lane, which is the fourth lane from the sidewalk.

“Are they intending to share it with the bike lane? Should it be standardized across all highways? The varying placements of motorcycle lanes can be confusing to motorists who traverse multiple highways daily,” Poe said.

“These are just some of the concerns that must be addressed with actual data and not just mere experiments that can cause further confusion in our already chaotic roads,” she added.

The proposal highlights the need for an independent facts-based agency such as the National Transportation Safety Board, which should be able to “cull data and institute standards for the designation of motorcycle lanes,” Poe said.

Sen. Francis Escudero recommended using artificial intelligence in traffic simulations before implementing a motorcycle lane.

Sen. Nancy Binay said dedicated lanes are temporary solutions that do not address the worsening traffic in Metro Manila.

“The reason why such alternative rides exist is because our public infrastructures fail to address urban mobility challenges – purely palliative and short-term always. So let’s not dwell on policies that will deviate from mass transit solutions,” Binay said.

The DOTr should instead shift its focus to mass transportation and “prioritize investments in efficient public transit systems such as buses, BRTs and trains,” she added.

Meanwhile, two motorcycle riders almost ran over traffic enforcers of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) who accosted them for using the EDSA bus lane  yesterday.

The MMDA said the motorcycle riders would be fined for violating the EDSA busway policy. –  Ghio Ong

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