EDSA traffic awful, but U-turn slots to remain closed, says MMDA exec

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 26 2020 03:32 AM

Return of number-coding scheme up in the air, says MMDA's Nebrija 

Expect vehicular traffic along EDSA to worsen further, as the holiday season approaches, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).

MMDA traffic operations chief Col. Edison "Bong" Nebrija acknowledged on Wednesday there was no way to stop people from doing their Christmas shopping even amid a pandemic.

"Thirty days before Christmas, tuloy ang Pasko kahit may pandemya. Marami talagang sasakyan sa daananan natin," he said on Teleradyo.

People hitting the streets, the suspension of the number-coding scheme, and the closure of U-turn slots along EDSA are expected to add to the traffic mess.

But Nebrija said his office could not suspend the U-turn closures, because it has part of the EDSA Busway Project which has been planned since June.

"Kailangang saraduhan ng U-turn slots. Kapag itinuloy natin ang busways there's no way they could take that U-turn. It entails the closure of U-turns," he said.

The closure of the U-turns, particularly in what Nebrija described as the "big loop" from Balintawak to Quezon Avenue, has caused traffic congestion at both ends.

"So makikita niyo ang traffic ngayon sa northbound sa Balintawak at sa southbound sa Quezon Ave. Kasi yung 6 na sinarado nating U-turns ngayon ay doon na umiikot sa big loop na iyon," said Nebrija.

"We're encouraging other motorists to take other routes. Alam mong wala kang mapapag-U-turnan d'yan, so you take the inner road sa Quezon Avenue or sa Balintawak."

Regarding the number-coding scheme, it was not up to the MMDA to decide when to start implementing it again, he said.

Nebrija said the government was holding back from enforcing the coding scheme to encourage more people to go out, which could spur the economy back to life.

"We're giving priority for the country to move forward. Matagal tayong nakatengga. We're giving them an opportunity to recover, lalo't may mga bonuses ang mga tao," he said. 

"So far wala pa, hindi pa pinag-uusapan (ang number coding scheme). These are policies that we are waiting to go down to our level."

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