Amid construction efforts, traffic woes to worsen


Posted at Jan 23 2014 01:01 PM | Updated as of Jan 23 2014 09:01 PM

MANILA - The government said traffic woes will not be avoided once major construction efforts begin all at the same time this year.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino promised to somehow ease these bottlenecks, saying there will be a major meeting with stakeholders soon. “The traffic management plan [for all projects] should be interconnected.”

Yesterday, President Aquino led the groundbreaking of the Skyway Stage 3 project, which involves building a 14.8-kilometer elevated tollway connecting Skyway or South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) in Buendia and NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) in Balintawak.

When completed, the mostly 6-lane NLEX-SLEX connector will run along Osmeña Highway, Quirino Avenue towards Plaza Dilao, cross Pasig River, cut through the back of SM Sta. Mesa towards G. Araneta Avenue, cross Aurora Boulevard, E. Rodriguez, Quezon Avenue, Sgt. Rivera, until it reaches Balintawak.

Besides this, Singson said the government has already started the Skyway project leading to the NAIA 1, 2 and 3 terminals. “There’s already a widening project. We’re also processing the road right-of-way acquisition.”

He said the NLEX road connection project is also already ongoing, which trucks could use in the future going to the pier. “So they will not use EDSA anymore.”

Alongside these, the Lawton-Sta. Monica bridge to connect Ortigas to the Global City will also commence this year, Tolentino noted.

“There’s also the McKinley ramp towards the Global City from C5,” he said.

He said alternative lanes are already being planned for motorists.

“For example, when the Skyway project goes full blast, we will begin to put up 10 posts immediately from F. Zobel to San Andres. Motorists can use Roxas Boulevard and Makati streets.”

Besides alternative routes, Tolentino said they may suggest “flexi hours” whereby schools and establishments near construction areas can open and close much earlier than the usual business hours. He said “bicycle lanes” may also be put up at the University belt.

Piston President George San Mateo criticized the plans as too “car-centric.”

“We are not against development, but the projects are too car-centric. Why don’t we just focus on mass transport systems, which will not affect the traffic flow? Those areas already have rights-of-way attached to them.”

He said the vehicles treading the metro are 80% private-owned and only 20% public. “And the 20% public transport is used by 80% of the commuters.”