'Not the time to experiment': Ex-MMDA chair rejects inner bus lanes for EDSA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 18 2020 01:24 PM

Watch more in iWant or TFC.tv

MANILA - A former chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority on Thursday said placing bus lanes in the leftmost side of EDSA would displace commuters and most vehicles traversing the metro's busiest thoroughway.

Marikina 1st District Rep. Bayani Fernando said the policy would leave only 1 fastlane for vehicles instead of 3.

"Ang panahon ng krisis na ito ay hindi time para mag-eksperimento sapagkat madidisplace ang maraming tao. 'Yung ating organized bus route covers the whole Metro Manila 'yun, hindi lang EDSA," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(The time of crisis is not a time to experiment. It will displace many. Our organized bus route covers the whole Metro Manila yun, not just EDSA.)

"'Pag balikan na ng private vehicles natin, ang laking problema niyan. At 'yung 3 lanes na 'yun hindi eksklusibo sa private vehicles, diyan din natin pinararaan ang provincial buses natin. Paano ang gagawin natin sa 1 lane lamang? Para mo nang sinabi na wag na kayong dumaan sa EDSA."

(When our private vehicles come back on the road, this will become a huge problem. Those 3 lanes are not just for private vehicles but also for provincial buses. What will we do with just 1 lane? It's like you said the public can't use EDSA anymore.)

The bus lanes will also be inaccessible to most commuters, Fernando said.

"'Yung mga tao nga nagsettle d'yan sa kanilang tinitirhan ngayon dahil d'yan malapit ang masaksakyan nila papuntang trabaho," he said.

(The people settled there because it's near to their route to work.)

A senior consultant of the Department of Transportation earlier said the agency was considering to put more footbridges and pedestrian crossing to the bus lanes.

Fernando also rejected allowing bicycles along EDSA as these would "cause more conflict" in the road.

More people have been using bicycles on EDSA due to lack of public transport as a result of the government lockdown. 

"Itong biskleta hindi maiiwasang tatawid 'yan eh. Dun ang conflict niya. Hindi naman tayo nakahanda," he said, citing the lack of bicycle lanes.

(Bicycles can't help but cross, that's the conflict there. We're not prepared.)

The former MMDA chief, however, bucked the construction of elevated bikeways as he warned that these might not be used once private vehicles are back on the main thoroughway.

"Mangyari sa'tin maaaksaya ang pera o di kaya pag inanyayahan pa natin na maraming magsisikleta, magiging balakid sa EDSA 'yan," he said. 

(We will just waste money or if we encourage more to cycle, they will become a hindrance to EDSA.)

"Yung EDSA ngayon kahit kaunti ang nagbibiyahe, trapik pa rin eh.
Dadagdagan pa natin. Lalo pag wala na itong COVID, anong gagawin natin?"

(EDSA still has a high volume of traffic even now, then we'll add more? What will we do once COVID is gone?"