Zombie idea: One-way EDSA proposal 'stupid, ridiculous', says traffic analyst

Gillan Ropero, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 29 2019 10:50 AM | Updated as of Aug 29 2019 10:56 AM

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MANILA - A proposal to implement a one-way traffic scheme on EDSA is "stupid" and "ridiculous", a transportation expert said Thursday, adding that the measure could trigger the world's worst traffic jam.

A group of engineers earlier said the flow of traffic would lighten if authorities would make EDSA southbound only while C-5 Road will serve northbound vehicles.

Traffic engineer Rene Santiago said the proposal was already made years ago.

"Zombie idea eh. Kasi medyo pinalutang na 'yan 5 years ago and it was already dismissed at the time as ridiculous. Kung di man ridiculous 'yan, pwede na nating tawaging stupid idea eh," he told radio DZMM.

Santiago said a one-way traffic system would work if the crossroads have the same capacity as that of EDSA, which has 10 lanes.

"'Yung EDSA tsaka C5 pagliko ho n'yan, ano lang ba ang nagkokonek ng EDSA tsaka C5? McKinley Road, effectively 4 lanes lang 'yan. Magsisiksikan. Pag pinadaan mo 'yung 10 lanes na sasakyan d'yan, sigurado ho tayong gridlock," he told radio DZMM.

(When you turn from EDSA and C5, what connects it? McKinley Road which has 4 effective lanes, cars would be compacted. If you allow vehicles from 10 lanes, it would surely end up in a gridlock.)

"Ngayon kung ay motibo ay ma-establish ang Guinness World Record for the worst traffic jam in the world, baka ho mag-succeed."

(If the motive is to establish the Guinness World Record for the worst traffic jam in the world, it might succeed.)

Santiago cited the streets of Manhattan, which has a grid pattern.

"It worked effectively kasi lahat nung north, south road like 1st Avenue, 2nd Avenue nagko-cross 'yan ng grid pattern ng 3rd Street kaya pag ginawa mong 1-way 'yung isang block walang problema," he said.

(It worked effectively because north and south roads like 1st Ave., 2nd Ave. crosses in a grid pattern with the 3rd street. So if you make a block one-way there's no problem.)

"Yung kakaliwaan, iikot, kasi 'yung capacity nung dadaanan niyang kaliwaan ay pareho."

(If you turn left, you will go around because the capacity was the same.)

Santiago said the immediate solution to decongest the metro's main thoroughfare is for traffic authorities to effectively implement its yellow lane policy for buses.

He said the policy was not supposed to limit buses to two lanes, and instead enables them to use the third lane to overtake other buses.

"Ang pag-execute nila ng yellow lane favors the private cars rather than the buses. 'Yung yellow lane tinayo 'yan para bumilis ang takbo ng mga buses eh sumisikip dahil pinipilit nilang di lumabas ang bus sa yellow lane," he said.

(The way they execute the yellow lane favors the private cars rather than the buses. The yellow lane was made in order for faster passage of buses, it resulted in traffic because they don't allow buses out of the yellow lane.)

"Mahihirapan po ang private cars pero hindi naman po natin intention na pabutihin ang takbo ng private cars. Ang intention natin pabutihin at pabilisin ang takbo ng bus dahil mas marami pong taong nakikinabang sa bus kesa sa mga sumasakay sa kotse."

(Private cars will experience difficulty but our intention is not to make their traffic lighter, our intention is to make the passage of buses faster because more people benefit from buses than private cars.)

Santiago added that adding more to the number coding scheme would encourage the public to buy more cars.

"Lalo nga hong dumami 'yung sasakyan ngayon dahil sa number coding. Matagal nang inimplement 'yan. Ang research d'yan all over the world is it actually encourages more cars," he said.

(The number scheme resulted in more cars, it was implemented long ago.)

"Pinapaboran lalo natin 'yung mayayaman at pinahihirapan ang mahihirap. Mas maraming bibili ng auto, mas maraming walang parking."

(It favors the rich and oppresses the poor. More people will buy cars, more will have no parking.)

As for the high occupancy vehicle scheme, which prohibits driver-only vehicles from traversing EDSA during rush hour, Santiago said it would be better if it was implemented at a portion of EDSA.

"Kailangan iimplement natin 'yan at a particular point or sections lang. We have to learn. Sa Jakarta matagal nang inimplement 'yan pero specific roads," he said.

(We should implement it at a particular point or sections only. We have to learn. It was implemented in Jakarta but only in specific roads.)