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Metro Mayors agree on resumption of HOV scheme in EDSA

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Friday, August 24th, 2018

MANDALUYONG CITY, Philippines – The Metro Manila Council (MMC) has decided for another dry run of the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) scheme in EDSA.

The decision is to give more time for the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the local government units (LGU) to observe if the measure is effective or not.

The proposal was halted following a resolution filed by Senate President Tito Sotto and other senators opposing the HOV scheme.

The Council of Mayors is encouraging the senators and the congressmen to experience for themselves the impact of the scheme to traffic situations in Metro Manila and of other programs that the MMDA is implementing such as the transfer of locations of provincial buses, carpooling, the motorcycle lane, new infrastructure projects of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) among others.

 “Kung kayo po tama ang gagawin niyo at sumusunod kayo sa batas trapiko hindi ho kayo matatakot sa mga traffic fines,” MMDA General Manager Jose Garcia said.

Garcia said they are open to suggestions and criticisms because such would help them improve the scheme. He asked for understanding from the public if the dry run has caused inconvenience as they are aiming at a long-term solution to Metro Manila’s worst traffic problem.

Meanwhile, the Council is contemplating on imposing higher fines of up to P10,000 on buses going beyond the yellow lane. Also, the group plans to regulate the number of buses the operators may use in a month to three to five units only.

Once the dry run kicks off, private cars with only a driver on board will be barred from EDSA from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Offenders will pay a fine of P1,000.

The MMDA said the dry run covers both south bound and north bound lane of EDSA from North Avenue in Quezon City to Magallanes in Makati City.

Meanwhile, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista said the local governments of San Juan, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Makati, and Taguig are also studying the the impact of the scheme in their respective areas.

The results of the dry run from the five municipalities will be consolidated in a report which will be presented to the lawmakers and the executive department. – Cathy Maglalang / Marje Pelayo

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Commuters suggest ‘rush-hour ban’ of private vehicles on EDSA

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, December 17th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Traffic along EDSA on a rush hour (Rovic Balunsay / Photoville International)

MANILA, Philippines – Heavy traffic on EDSA has always been the source of terrible headache for commuters as they lose about two hours of their time just being stuck in heavy traffic.

Based on a study from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Philippine economy loses around P3.5 billion in revenue daily due to traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

This is a staggering increase of P2.4 billion from the results in 2012.

According to Atty. Ariel Inton of the Commuters and Safety Protection, it will be better to impose a ban of private vehicles on EDSA during rush hour to decongest traffic, apart from putting additional means of transportation and other improvements.

The group suggests the four-hour ban to begin from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and from 4:00 p.m. t0 8:00 p.m.

“Hindi ako sangayon na ating ibinabawas sa kalye ay public transportation…Pahihirapan mo pa ang mga mananakay. Walang mangyayari sa atin. Ang mga may sasakyan at least may alternatibo sila. Ma-traffic man sila diyan nakasakay lang sila sa kotse,” Inton argued.

Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) EDSA Traffic Manager Bong Nebrija said he is considering the group’s suggestion but expressed doubt that the proposal might not pass Congress, similar to what happened to the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) scheme.

“With that, marami sana tayong mare-reduce na volume so maraming nagsasabi na hindi naman kaya ng alternate routes. But then again if we really want to have, keep the traffic in EDSA flowing, we need to make drastic actions,” Nebrija said.

For now, Nebrija said they are studying another plan to ease traffic congestion on EDSA, and that is to ban vehicles coming from the provinces during rush hour.

“Let the Metro Manila vehicles used the EDSA. So ibig sabihin niyan ang mga galing sa probinsya na registred vehicles, hindi ka pwedeng bumaybay ng EDSA but not for the whole day, just on certain hours, during rush hours 6 to 9 or 5 to 8,” He said,

Meanwhile, the MMDA is planning put wire fences to restrict pedestrian sidewalks along EDSA except private driveways.

The agency also plans to designate proper loading and unloading zones to instill disciple to both vehicle drivers and passengers. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from JL Asayo)

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Stricter ‘no loading and unloading’ policy takes effect under new EDSA traffic czar

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, December 10th, 2018

 

MMDA traffic enforcers monitoring traffic on EDSA

 

MANILA, Philippines – Expect stricter implementation of the ‘no loading and unloading’ scheme in EDSA under new traffic chief, Colonel Edison ‘Bong’ Nebrija.

Nebrija, whose formal take over of EDSA traffic management takes effect on Monday (December 10), said he will concentrate more on instilling discipline among abusive and unyielding public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers who irresponsibly load and unload passengers in unauthorized locations along EDSA.

This habit, according to Nebrija, is what commonly causes heavy traffic flow in EDSA.

He specifically pertained to bus drivers who are supposed to use the proper bus stops for loading and unloading passengers.

Nebrija also plans to put more signage that would remind motorists of the corresponding penalties for every traffic offense.

He emphasized that he will not tolerate both the motorist and the traffic constable in any extortion activity for a certain traffic violation.

Nebrija replaced Chief Traffic Inspector Rodolfo Calpito who is retiring from MMDA this month. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Joan Nano)

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PH gets failing mark in int’l assessment of road safety standards

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — Vehicular accidents and people getting run over while crossing roads are reported in the news almost every day.

According to the International Road Assessment Program (IRAP), one of the reasons is the bad condition of roads in the country.

IRAP gave the Philippines a one to two-star rating only on road safety. Based on their study, narrow roads designed for single lane use only often accommodate two vehicles with only a painted line in the middle to separate them.

“That white line, it doesn’t do too much to protect you from death on a head-on crash. It’s one of the main ways that motorcyclists die from,” said IRAP’s managing director, Greg Smith.

A 2015 report of the World Health Organization stated that 53 percent of road accidents involved motorcycles while 19 percent involved pedestrians. The report also indicated that people between the ages of 15 to 29 are the ones who usually figure in road accidents.

According to the National Center for Transportation Studies of the University of the Philippines, roads in the country, particularly in Metro Manila, are dangerous.

And though the government is continuously working on making roads safer, experts say, the public should also learn to adjust and follow traffic rules.

“Kahit ang ganda ng infrastructure natin kapag hindi natin naintindihan na lahat ng tao ay may karapatang gumamit sa kalsada, hindi tayo uusad kahit malawak pedestrian. Kung gagamitin yun na parking, walang mangyayari,” said UP National Center for Transportation Studies director, Dr. Ma. Sheila Napalang.

The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), for its part, assured that it is doing all it can to make roads in the metropolis safer.

The MMDA also calls on the public to make use of pedestrian walkways, even the controversial footbridge along Scout Borromeo-EDSA, to avoid road accidents.


“Mamimili po kayo dito: mapapagod po kayo o babawian kayo ng buhay? Makikipagsapalaran po kayo sa EDSA,” said MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago.

Road safety advocates, meanwhile, suggests the inclusion of intensified promotions on road safety in the platform of political aspirants hoping to win a seat in the upcoming midterm elections. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue

 

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