METRO MANILA, September 16, 2003 (STAR) Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Bayani Fernando conducted an ocular inspection of the agency’s traffic schemes being implemented in EDSA.

Fernando’s tour of EDSA with MMDA officials and reporters started from the MMDA office in Orense, Makati and ended at the Cloverleaf in Balintawak, Quezon City.

The trip took just almost half an hour but Fernando admitted that it was because it was a non-rush hour on EDSA.

The ride took place from 11 a.m. to noon. There was very light traffic with only a few hundred vehicles on the road.

Public Utility Bus (PUBs) were generally observed to be following the yellow lane, much to Fernando’s delight.

The MMDA bus cum mobile office ran at an average of 30 kph throughout the trip. Fernando said that for a 20-kilometer stretch of road like EDSA, this was an acceptable speed.

Anything less than that would mean that traffic volume is already extremely heavy.

At the Cloverleaf, Fernando ordered the demolition of a Police Community Precinct and the structures being built around it.

Fernando also said the stores at the Balintawak market that had encroached on what should have been a parking space must be removed as well.

"It’s only in the Philippines that you can see a fighting cock tied in a coop at a major thoroughfare," Fernando noted.

Fernando also noted that the yellow paint for the yellow lane must be uniform. He likewise observed that some of the lane guides for private vehicles to enter secondary roads were not painted correctly.

Fernando said the MMDA would soon close off the Quezon Avenue and EDSA intersection.

Manila-bound vehicles must take the underpass to cross EDSA or turn right to EDSA from Quezon Avenue then make a U-turn under the overpass, Fernando said. – Nikko Dizon

Strict implementation of yellow lane begins today By Nikko Dizon (Star 09/16/2003)

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it would no longer tolerate excuses from public utility buses (PUBs) and private vehicles caught violating the yellow lane scheme.

Starting today, the MMDA will strictly implement the yellow lane scheme and apprehend violators, said MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando at a press conference.

"We have been implementing the yellow lane for the last three weeks, I think that’s enough time for everybody to understand the system," Fernando said, acknowledging that many drivers continue to ignore the traffic rules of the MMDA.

Fernando said motorists, particularly bus drivers, must start to strictly follow the rules, so that the single dispatching system could be implemented on EDSA in the next two months and ultimately lead to the lifting of the number coding for PUVs.

The single dispatching system, also known as the organized EDSA bus route, is the best solution to ease the traffic on EDSA as it would prevent having 3,000 half filled PUBs on the highway the whole day, Fernando said.

Traffic flow on the yellow lane is somewhat faster now, with more vehicles observing it, the MMDA noted.

The yellow lane is devoted exclusively to PUVs. Vehicles responding to emergencies like police cars, ambulances, and firetrucks are also allowed to use the yellow lane, Fernando said.

The MMDA reminds the PUB operators and drivers of the following:

• PUBs are prohibited from overtaking each other because city buses must run "in sequence," according to the dispatch numbers given to the them at the entry points in EDSA; bus drivers must surrender their dispatch numbers to designated MMDA personnel at the end of their route.

• Loading and unloading must be done by PUBs on the lane nearest to the sidewalk. PUBs must follow the headway or interval times to be installed at major loading and unloading points on EDSA.

• PUBs without MMDA-issued stickers would not be allowed to enter EDSA to prevent colorum buses from plying the highway.

• Provincial buses are now allowed to load and unload along EDSA.

The MMDA will suspend violators’ drivers license for one week for the first offense. Succeeding offenses would result to a one-month suspension of the driver’s license, Fernando said.

After having been caught, Fernando said violators must immediately bring their buses back to their operators’ garages. The buses would also be impounded.

Drivers of private vehicles would be fined as much as P500 for the first offense, Fernando said.

MMDA Traffic Operations Center Executive Director Angelito Vergel de Dios said drivers of private vehicles would be apprehended if they enter the yellow lane more than 50 meters before the secondary road they want to enter.

Vergel de Dios noted that most private vehicles often have more excuses for using the yellow lane, such as the above-mentioned situation.

But MMDA traffic enforcers will be more discerning this time and would not let private vehicles get away easily, Vergel de Dios said.

Fernando said government vehicles or those without red plates are not allowed on the yellow lane.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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