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NO TRAFFIC COP IN SIGHT: 'HAND OF GOD' UNTANGLES MAJOR TRAFFIC GIRDLOCK


AUGUST 25 -Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Rosales. FILE PHOTO - An 83-year-old Catholic cardinal in the Philippines came to the rescue of thousands of stranded motorists over the weekend after single-handedly untangling a traffic jam in Manila during a typhoon. Gaudencio Rosales took matters into his own hands on Sunday as he traversed a typhoon-lashed Philippine highway on the outskirts of the capital to help settle a traffic dispute.“We were trapped for over an hour and we were rushing to another engagement. I said to myself: ‘we cannot take this anymore,'” the retired Manila cardinal told AFP on Tuesday.With no traffic policemen in sight amid the onslaught of Typhoon Goni, Rosales said he zipped up his raincoat and walked nearly a kilometer to find out what was causing the 1.6-km (mile) long snarl, the likes of which have become a daily misery for Filipinos.“We’re all in a hurry,” he said to the erring motorists, after discovering six cars fighting over two lanes in Santo Tomas town on Manila’s outskirts.As his boots filled up with rainwater, the hooded old man used hand signals to force the vehicles to back up, freeing up the jam.The rain later let up to reveal a giant crucifix peeking out of his jacket. The chastened motorists then got out of their vehicles to kiss his ring. READ MORE...

ALSO PNoy on worsening traffic: Be more patient, understanding
["Ang pinakaradikal dito ay hatiin ang bilang ng bumibiyaheng sasakyan — salitan ang pagbabaybay ng odd at even na plaka sa ating mga kalsada kada linggo," Aquino said.]


AUGUST 27 -President Aquino said the government continues to address the traffic situation but he cited the constraints imposed by limited road space, legal issues and long implementation periods for major mass transit and infrastructure projects. File photo
MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday urged the public to be more patient and understanding over the worsening traffic in Metro Manila. In a speech at the Rizal Technological University in Mandaluyong City, Aquino said the government continues to address the traffic situation but he cited the constraints imposed by limited road space, legal issues and long implementation periods for major mass transit and infrastructure projects. "Aaminin ko po: lahat ng problema, gusto nating tugunan—at kung puwede, nagawa na sana natin ito kahapon pa. Pero may mga limitasyon sa kung ano ang maaari nating gawin, at hindi naman puwedeng agad-agad ang pagpapatupad sa isang hakbang," Aquino said. He appealed for more patience and understanding and called on the citizenry to work with government in implementing practicable solutions that will help ease the traffic congestion problem in Metro Manila. "Nagsisikap nga tayong tugunan ang lahat ng kayang tugunan, at ang panawagan ko po: Makiisa at dagdagan ang pang-unawa at pasensiya. Sa inyo namang pakikiambag, masisiguro nating sabay-sabay tayong uunlad," the president said. Aquino said that he is expecting soon the presentation of proposals from various concerned government agencies and stakeholders such as the implementation of an "odd-even" traffic scheme. READ MORE...

ALSO: Transport groups hit PNoy's proposal to revive 'odd-even' plan
[“The severe traffic and transportation problems are not without solutions but they will require immediate, firm and resolute action from the national leadership. The status quo is not acceptable. Inaction is not an option,” business group said..]


AUGUST 29 -Transport groups yesterday slammed the proposal of President Aquino to revive the odd-even scheme as a possible solution to the traffic woes of Metro Manila.
According to George San Mateo, national president of the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (PISTON), the revival of the odd-even scheme would greatly affect their livelihood as public utility vehicle drivers and operators because the scheme would keep them off the streets thrice a week. San Mateo suggested the government should instead focus on maintaining a dependable mass transport system. “At present we have the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the trains being run by the Philippine National Railway. But these trains often break down,” he said. San Mateo also branded the President’s recent proposal to revive the odd-even scheme as a “band-aid” solution to Metro Manila’s traffic problems. “In the President’s desperation to clear the streets, he has arrived at an artificial solution with the forced banning of vehicles from the streets without the necessary modern mass transport system to accommodate the displaced commuters,” San Mateo said in Filipino. San Mateo added that even with the odd-even scheme, there would still be congestion, as affluent motorists would simply buy more vehicles to use when their “regular” vehicles are banned from roads. “The only people who would benefit from P-Noy’s proposal are the rich motorists who could buy more cars,” he said. For his part, Efren de Luna, president of the Alliance of Concerned Transport Operators (ACTO), also said the proposed revival of the odd-even scheme could inflict a heavy blow on drivers and operators of public utility vehicles. READ MORE...

ALSO: MRT commuters lose millions of man-hours


AUGUST 29 -Hundreds of commuters formed dizzying queues outside North Ave. station of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 along Edsa in Quezon City at 8 a.m. of Aug. 28 and endured at least an hour of waiting for their turn to ride the train bound for the southern part of Metro Manila.
By the time they boarded the train at 9 a.m., many of them complained about being late for work or missing their appointment, resulting in lost productivity or opportunity. The scenario is true in all stations of MRT 3 and the two other overhead rail systems in Metro Manila—the Light Rail Transit Line 1 and LRT Line 2. It is estimated that millions of man-hours are lost each day, as more than a million people wait for their turn for an hour or more before riding the three rail systems, which are supposed to make travel faster and easier for passengers. A man-hour refers to an average hour of work performed by an individual. Passengers in Quezon City, however, chose to endure the long lines, because the other alternative—riding the bus or taxi cab along Edsa would take longer than the MRT 3 trip as the road below is heavily congested, with several stretches of Edsa looking like a parking lot. READ MORE...

ALSO Abaya told: Follow bishop, direct the traffic
[“The Cardinal’s move is a sign of our times – our people are fending for themselves, taking matters into their own hands, because of an absent and insensitive government,” Leyte Rep. Romualdez said.]


AUGUST 25 -Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya answers questions from the media. STAR file photo/Boy Santos
MANILA, Philippines - Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya should take the cue from Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, who did his part in untangling a traffic gridlock, lawmakers said yesterday. Rosales set an example to lax and incompetent government officials when he went out of his way to direct traffic after coming from mass at the Padre Pio Shrine in Sto. Tomas, Batangas on Sunday, Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, leader of the independent bloc of the House of Representatives, said. “The Cardinal’s move is a sign of our times – our people are fending for themselves, taking matters into their own hands, because of an absent and insensitive government,” Romualdez said. He said Abaya is seldom seen in public and rarely explains what his department is doing to address the mass transportation problem, particularly in Metro Manila. He added the few times Abaya spoke in public, he only showed how the administration treats ordinary people when he said being stuck in traffic jams is “not fatal.” Romualdez said the traffic situation would worsen as the various infrastructure projects and major road works in Metro Manila will not be completed by the time the country hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November.Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., a provincemate of Abaya, said Rosales’ actions were indeed “a bad sign,” but stressed the transportation secretary was doing his best to improve the traffic situation. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

‘Hand of God’ untangles Philippine traffic mess


Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Rosales. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, AUGUST 31, 2015 (INQUIRER) Agence France-Presse - An 83-year-old Catholic cardinal in the Philippines came to the rescue of thousands of stranded motorists over the weekend after single-handedly untangling a traffic jam in Manila during a typhoon.

Gaudencio Rosales took matters into his own hands on Sunday as he traversed a typhoon-lashed Philippine highway on the outskirts of the capital to help settle a traffic dispute.

“We were trapped for over an hour and we were rushing to another engagement. I said to myself: ‘we cannot take this anymore,'” the retired Manila cardinal told AFP on Tuesday.

With no traffic policemen in sight amid the onslaught of Typhoon Goni, Rosales said he zipped up his raincoat and walked nearly a kilometer to find out what was causing the 1.6-km (mile) long snarl, the likes of which have become a daily misery for Filipinos.

“We’re all in a hurry,” he said to the erring motorists, after discovering six cars fighting over two lanes in Santo Tomas town on Manila’s outskirts.

As his boots filled up with rainwater, the hooded old man used hand signals to force the vehicles to back up, freeing up the jam.

The rain later let up to reveal a giant crucifix peeking out of his jacket. The chastened motorists then got out of their vehicles to kiss his ring.

READ MORE...

“They were very apologetic,” Rosales said of the culprits.

About 80 percent of the Philippines’ 100 million strong population are Roman Catholic, who are considered among the world’s most devout. Last January, six million attended Pope Francis’ rain-soaked Manila mass.

Traffic jams in the Philippine capital of 12 million have worsened in recent months, as the government rushed to build elevated tollways to accommodate the growing number of vehicles acquired amid a booming economy.

Rosales, who is one of the four cardinals in the country, said he endured his share of hours-long traffic jams during his eight-year term as archbishop of Manila beginning in 2003.

But for as long as the gridlocks are there, Rosales said he would serve as a make-do traffic cop given the chance.

“Next time, I’ll be sure to bring a whistle,” he said laughing.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Bishop directs traffic By Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 25, 2015 - 12:01am 3 3367 googleplus0 0


Archbishop Emeritus of Manila Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales is shown manning traffic in Sto. Tomas, Batangas Sunday. Photo courtesy of Ericzon Jamilla.

MANILA, Philippines - It took a man of the cloth to finally untangle a major traffic gridlock.

Coming from mass in Sto. Tomas, Batangas last Sunday, Archbishop Emeritus of Manila Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales found himself stuck in the middle of a major traffic jam, not moving an inch in nearly 40 minutes.

Despite the rain, the 83-year-old bishop put on a hooded navy blue jacket, zipped it all the way up to conceal his pectoral cross, got out of his car and walked to the front of the long line of cars.

Five vehicles were gridlocked at an intersection, causing a traffic build-up of an estimated 200 other vehicles.

“I approached the driver of one of the five vehicles and told him that 200 vehicles are stuck in traffic because they are in the wrong way,” he said.

He managed to make the five vehicles move and give way, opening up the intersection to enable traffic to flow.

Rosales had just celebrated mass in Sto. Tomas and was in a hurry to return to St. Joseph Seniorate, a retirement home for priests in Lipa, Batangas, where people were waiting to meet with him.

“They did not recognize me because I was wearing a jacket, but later on somebody did recognize me because the jacket’s zipper went down and they saw my pectoral cross,” he said.

“It is really lamentable how some people tend to behave,” he said.


PHILSTAR

PNoy on worsening traffic: Be more patient, understanding By Louis Bacani (philstar.com) | Updated August 27, 2015 - 2:42pm 0 0 googleplus0 0


President Aquino said the government continues to address the traffic situation but he cited the constraints imposed by limited road space, legal issues and long implementation periods for major mass transit and infrastructure projects. File photo

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday urged the public to be more patient and understanding over the worsening traffic in Metro Manila.

In a speech at the Rizal Technological University in Mandaluyong City, Aquino said the government continues to address the traffic situation but he cited the constraints imposed by limited road space, legal issues and long implementation periods for major mass transit and infrastructure projects.

"Aaminin ko po: lahat ng problema, gusto nating tugunan—at kung puwede, nagawa na sana natin ito kahapon pa. Pero may mga limitasyon sa kung ano ang maaari nating gawin, at hindi naman puwedeng agad-agad ang pagpapatupad sa isang hakbang," Aquino said.

He appealed for more patience and understanding and called on the citizenry to work with government in implementing practicable solutions that will help ease the traffic congestion problem in Metro Manila.

"Nagsisikap nga tayong tugunan ang lahat ng kayang tugunan, at ang panawagan ko po: Makiisa at dagdagan ang pang-unawa at pasensiya. Sa inyo namang pakikiambag, masisiguro nating sabay-sabay tayong uunlad," the president said.

Aquino said that he is expecting soon the presentation of proposals from various concerned government agencies and stakeholders such as the implementation of an "odd-even" traffic scheme.

READ MORE...

"Ang pinakaradikal dito ay hatiin ang bilang ng bumibiyaheng sasakyan — salitan ang pagbabaybay ng odd at even na plaka sa ating mga kalsada kada linggo," Aquino said.

"Pihadong luluwang ang trapik dahil kalahati ng sasakyan ang mawawala, pero sigurado pong marami na namang aalma dahil hindi magagamit ang kotse nila," he added.

The president noted that traffic in Metro Manila also continues to worsen because of the increasing number of vehicles.

He said that according to the Department of Trade and Industry, over 22,400 new cars are being sold every month.

There were also about 1.2 million new motorcycles in 2014.

"Ang resulta po: Siyempre, lalong siksikan sa kalsada. At natural, dahil sa trapiko, ang sasakyan at motorsiklo na pinag-ipunan mo nang husto, mas mabilis malalaspag dahil nakababad lang sa karbon," he said.

In a statement, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras has been conducting consultations with various stakeholders to integrate action proposals from the Metro Manila Development Authority, Department of Public Works and Highways, the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Philippine National Police.


PHILSTAR

Transport groups hit PNoy's proposal to revivie 'odd-even' plan By Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 29, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Transport groups yesterday slammed the proposal of President Aquino to revive the odd-even scheme as a possible solution to the traffic woes of Metro Manila.

According to George San Mateo, national president of the Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (PISTON), the revival of the odd-even scheme would greatly affect their livelihood as public utility vehicle drivers and operators because the scheme would keep them off the streets thrice a week.

San Mateo suggested the government should instead focus on maintaining a dependable mass transport system.

“At present we have the Metro Rail Transit (MRT), the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the trains being run by the Philippine National Railway. But these trains often break down,” he said.

San Mateo also branded the President’s recent proposal to revive the odd-even scheme as a “band-aid” solution to Metro Manila’s traffic problems.

“In the President’s desperation to clear the streets, he has arrived at an artificial solution with the forced banning of vehicles from the streets without the necessary modern mass transport system to accommodate the displaced commuters,” San Mateo said in Filipino.

San Mateo added that even with the odd-even scheme, there would still be congestion, as affluent motorists would simply buy more vehicles to use when their “regular” vehicles are banned from roads.

“The only people who would benefit from P-Noy’s proposal are the rich motorists who could buy more cars,” he said.

For his part, Efren de Luna, president of the Alliance of Concerned Transport Operators (ACTO), also said the proposed revival of the odd-even scheme could inflict a heavy blow on drivers and operators of public utility vehicles.

READ MORE...

“It would be better if the present number coding system is just modified,” he said.

Under the present number coding system, vehicles are only kept off the streets for one day depending on the last digit of their license plates.

De Luna also raised the possibility that with more public utility vehicles eased out of the metro’s streets because of a revived odd-even scheme, private motorists might field more vehicles for hire using a rideshare application like Uber.

President Aquino believes the odd-even scheme is the most radical solution to Metro Manila’s traffic problems, but he expects strong opposition from the public if this is implemented.

Aquino blamed the high volume of vehicles and the ongoing infrastructure projects for causing the traffic gridlocks in metro streets.

He cited a report of the Department of Trade and Industry, which said 22,400 new vehicles and 100,000 motorcycles are acquired every month. In 2014, 1.2 million new motorcycles started traversing the roads and worsened traffic congestion.

“The ideal situation is to build additional bridges and widen roads. But even this will take a few years to be implemented along with dreadful discussions, especially on the issue of right of way,” Aquino said.

Aquino said the most radical proposal to solve the traffic woes is to halve the number of vehicles plying metro streets through the odd-even scheme. He called on the citizenry to work with government in implementing practicable solutions, saying everyone’s input and cooperation are important, as solutions could not be enforced right away.

A traffic czar


http://map.org.ph/profile/vision-mission

The Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) is offering the government several remedies, among them the appointment of Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras as traffic czar.

“The MAP believes that the severe traffic congestion and commuter transportation problems besetting our metropolis are behavioral and structural in nature, and should be addressed accordingly. These problems evolved over a long period of time, should be addressed through the three most basic elements of effective traffic management – road engineering, education of all stakeholders and enforcement,” the MAP said.

“Deficient road engineering prevents efficient traffic flow, essential to optimize limited road space. The deficiency allows drivers to wantonly switch or block lanes without regard for others on vital road arteries. Regulatory weakness has allowed the proliferation of public utility vehicles. Lack of education contributes to diminished civic consciousness and responsible driving behavior that, coupled with ineffective enforcement, have rendered traffic rules as mere suggestions to be ignored with impunity,” the group added.

One of the immediate actions being proposed by the MAP is the appointment of a traffic czar, which the group believes should be Almendras.

“When gridlock grips the metropolis with no relief in sight, people ask who is in charge?” the MAP said.

Through a presidential executive order, the business group said a traffic czar should be given power to take overall charge of matters related to or affecting traffic and road management, including the implementation of necessary road engineering refinements on all national roads in Metro Manila.

In addition, the MAP is also urging the government to assign and deputize a specially trained highway patrol group within the Philippine National Police, under the direct supervision and control of the traffic czar, to impose order through strict enforcement of traffic rules and regulations.

Among the other MAP proposed immediate measures seen yielding the fastest relief for motorists and commuters are the fast-tracking of the upgrade and capacity expansion of the MRT-3, the upgrading of existing major national roads into expressways, the improvement in the resiliency of all national major and radial roads against floods, the use of fast construction methods such as prefabricated steel or precast concrete bridging systems, and a campaign for private vehicle high occupancy practices.

Meanwhile, the long-term infrastructure measures, some of which are already being rolled out by the current administration, are expected to address the structural deficiency and when completed provide long-term sustainable improvement, the group said.

“The severe traffic and transportation problems are not without solutions but they will require immediate, firm and resolute action from the national leadership. The status quo is not acceptable. Inaction is not an option,” the MAP said.

The MAP said its recommendations are in recognition of the severe traffic and commuter transportation situation in Metro Manila and the great detriment it is causing people, the economy and environment.

The business group also said it is aware that a large segment of the metropolitan population, various sectors of society and the economy are reeling from the adverse effects of these urban problems. – Richmond Mercurio, Aurea Calica, Paolo Romero, Marvin Sy, Mayen Jaymalin

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

CBCP exec dismayed over Mar's comments on traffic By Dennis Carcamo (philstar.com) | Updated August 25, 2015 - 12:01pm 3 104 googleplus0 0


In this Aug. 17, 2015 photo, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas speaks in a ceremony starting the distribution of 204 new police patrol jeeps to eight provinces. DILG photo


MAR ROXAS

MANILA, Philippines — An official of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) chastised on Tuesday outgoing Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel "Mar" Roxas II for attributing the worsening traffic situation in the country to economic growth.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, CBCP president, was reacting to a recent speech given by Roxas, the Liberal Party standard-bearer in the 2016 election, at the annual national convention of Philippine Sugar Technologists Association Incorporated in Cebu City.

Archbishop Palma said Roxas should correlate the traffic snarls in the country, particularly in Metro Manila, to economic growth.

"Some people think that traffic is a sign of a booming economy. We do not deny that in some sense, it is really growing. But then traffic is traffic, and we should be aware that a lot of people are distressed," the bishop told Catholic-run Radyo Veritas.

"There should be a way to solve the traffic, other than dismiss it as if it is a good sign, that because of the good economy, we have traffic,"he added.

In his speech, Roxas mentioned the increase of the number of vehicles on the streets by 260,000 in 2014.

Based on the study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in 2014, around P2.2 billion daily is lost to traffic congestion in the country.

The Land Transportation Office figures, meanwhile, showed the continuous registration of new motor vehicles every day, with Metro Manila increasing by 100,000 vehicle registrations in 2013.


MANILA STANDARD

MRT commuters lose millions of man-hours  By Roderick T. dela Cruz | Aug. 29, 2015 at 11:20pm

Hundreds of commuters formed dizzying queues outside North Ave. station of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 along Edsa in Quezon City at 8 a.m. of Aug. 28 and endured at least an hour of waiting for their turn to ride the train bound for the southern part of Metro Manila.

By the time they boarded the train at 9 a.m., many of them complained about being late for work or missing their appointment, resulting in lost productivity or opportunity. The scenario is true in all stations of MRT 3 and the two other overhead rail systems in Metro Manila—the Light Rail Transit Line 1 and
LRT Line 2.

It is estimated that millions of man-hours are lost each day, as more than a million people wait for their turn for an hour or more before riding the three rail systems, which are supposed to make travel faster and easier for passengers. A man-hour refers to an average hour of work performed by an individual.

Passengers in Quezon City, however, chose to endure the long lines, because the other alternative—riding the bus or taxi cab along Edsa would take longer than the MRT 3 trip as the road below is heavily congested, with several stretches of Edsa looking like a parking lot.

READ MORE...

Commutters form dizzying queues along Edsa on the way to the North Ave. station of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 in Quezon City.

Economic losses

Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino (photo), citing a study by Japan International Cooperation Agency, said heavy traffic in Metro Manila results in P2.4 billion worth of economic losses each day and this figure may reach P6 billion by 2030, if the government fails to address the heavy traffic.

“Commuters as well as private vehicle owners suffer the monstrous and extremely costly traffic every day in Metro Manila,” Aquino said, as he filed Senate Resolution No. 1532, seeking to review the existing roadmap for transport infrastructure development.

The study shows that lower-income households will be most affected when congestion worsens by 2030, as they are expected to spend at least 20 percent of their monthly household income for transport.

“Without intervention, traffic will likely increase by 13 percent in 2030, and transport cost will be 2.5 percent higher,” Aquino said.

Among the factors that contributed to the worsening traffic condition is the significant population increase in Metro Manila which now stands at 16.5 million. Over the past five years, more than a million vehicles were added to Philippine roads, as more Filipinos joined the ranks of the middle-class, amid the growing economy.

Not acceptable

The road condition is not acceptable, according to the Management Association of the Philippines, a group of business leaders.

“The severe traffic and transportation problems are not without solutions but they will require immediate, firm and resolute action from the national leadership. The status quo is not acceptable. Inaction is not an option,” MAP executive director Arnold Salvador said in a strongly worded proposal.

MAP proposed a holistic approach on addressing the traffic and transportation problems of Metro Manila. It said the first step is to recognize the severe traffic and commuter transportation situation in Metro Manila and the great detriment it is causing on the people, the economy and environment.

“Various sectors of society and the economy are reeling from the adverse effects of these urban problems,” the group said, adding that the problems are not totally insurmountable.

MAP asked President Benigno Aquino III, together with the bureaucracy at the national and local levels in Metro Manila, to take the strongest possible measures to immediately and squarely address these twin urban problems of severe traffic and transportation problems.

It said the severe traffic congestion and commuter transportation problems besetting the metropolis are behavioral and structural in nature, and should be addressed accordingly.

“These problems evolved over a long period of time, should be addressed through the three most basic elements of effective traffic management – road engineering, education of all stakeholders and enforcement of traffic rules,” it said.

Twin problems

It said contributing to the traffic and transport problems were severe deficiency in mass transit systems, unsustainable urban development practices and ineffective governance structure of the metropolis.

“MAP recommends a comprehensive and holistic approach consisting of immediate and long-term measures. The immediate measures will yield the earliest relief for motorists and commuters,” the group said.

It said long-term “hard” infrastructure measures, some of which are already being rolled out by the current administration, will address the structural deficiency and, when completed, provide long- term sustainable improvement.

Traffic czar

MAP also called for the appointment of a traffic czar who will be in charge, when gridlock grips the metropolis. It specifically recommended Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras to be the traffic czar, who will take overall charge of all matters related to or affecting traffic and road management, including the implementation of necessary road engineering refinements, on all national roads.

It said the traffic czar should introduce road engineering refinements. “Good road engineering is essential to effective traffic management and efficient traffic flow. Much common sense, quick and inexpensive road engineering fixes will help control traffic. Such measures must be quickly introduced in major national roads as they have proven to be effective in addressing the previously problematic traffic on Ayala Avenue in the Makati business district and other congested cities elsewhere,” it said.

The group said the government should also upgrade existing major national roads into expressways. “Urban expressways, being intersection-free, facilitate easy ingress to and egress from busy downtown districts, aside from providing fast circulation for urban traffic,” it said.

MAP said good examples of urban expressways can be found in densely populated Hong Kong, where the HK Island Eastern Corridor stretches through the entire length of the eastern side from one end, going right through the congested downtown central financial and commercial district up to the other end of the island. The well-engineered road has no intersections, road lanes are well defined with international standard markings, signage and concrete delineator to segregate commuter buses from interrupting vehicles on the fast lanes.

MRT rehabilitation

Back to MRT Line 3, MAP said the system needs rehabilitation. “A train system is the most efficient, convenient and affordable people mover. MRT 3 must be quickly and properly rehabilitated, and its passenger capacity greatly expanded,” it said.

MAP said the MRT 3 system, being in place, provides the fastest option for quickly addressing commuter capacity deficiency on Edsa. “All efforts must be quickly taken to resolve any outstanding issues that stand in the way for such improvement,” it said.

Edsa subway

MAP also proposed a high-capacity subway system under the entire length of Edsa. “The presence of numerous large shopping malls, government institutions, business districts and massive residential housing complexes along Edsa will ultimately require a high-capacity heavy subway system,” it said.

The group called on the president to issue an executive order to reserve the first underground level as the right of way for a future Edsa subway to pre-empt all possible intersecting subway lines, such as the proposed Bonifacio Global City to MOA subway line that will necessarily traverse Edsa.

“The government must be ahead of the curve and anticipate the heavy future demand of commuters along the entire stretch of Edsa,” it said.


PHILSTAR

Abaya told: Follow bishop, direct traffic By Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 26, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya answers questions from the media. STAR file photo/Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines - Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya should take the cue from Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales, who did his part in untangling a traffic gridlock, lawmakers said yesterday.

Rosales set an example to lax and incompetent government officials when he went out of his way to direct traffic after coming from mass at the Padre Pio Shrine in Sto. Tomas, Batangas on Sunday, Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, leader of the independent bloc of the House of Representatives, said.

“The Cardinal’s move is a sign of our times – our people are fending for themselves, taking matters into their own hands, because of an absent and insensitive government,” Romualdez said.

He said Abaya is seldom seen in public and rarely explains what his department is doing to address the mass transportation problem, particularly in Metro Manila.

He added the few times Abaya spoke in public, he only showed how the administration treats ordinary people when he said being stuck in traffic jams is “not fatal.”

Romualdez said the traffic situation would worsen as the various infrastructure projects and major road works in Metro Manila will not be completed by the time the country hosts the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November.

Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr., a provincemate of Abaya, said Rosales’ actions were indeed “a bad sign,” but stressed the transportation secretary was doing his best to improve the traffic situation.

READ MORE...

Economic losses to hit P6 B

Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV yesterday warned that economic losses due to heavy traffic in Metro Manila could balloon to P6 billion a day by 2030 from the current P2.4 billion.

Aquino has filed a resolution seeking to review the existing Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development to formulate strategies and solutions to address the impact of the worsening traffic situation on the economy.

“Commuters as well as private vehicle owners suffer from traffic jams every day in Metro Manila,” Aquino said in his Senate Resolution No. 1532.

He cited a study entitled “Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for Metro Manila and Surrounding Areas” conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in coordination with the Department of Transportation and Communications, Department of Public Works and Highways, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and other relevant agencies.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board approved the roadmap on Sept. 2, 2014.

Based on the study’s analysis, Aquino said lower-income households would be the hardest hit when traffic congestion worsens by 2030 as they will spend no less than 20 percent of their income for transport.

“Without intervention, traffic demand will likely increase by 13 percent in 2030, and transport costs will be 2.5 percent higher,” he said.

Aquino said local government units must contribute to craft effective strategies and traffic management systems to improve traffic gridlocks in Metro Manila.

“The MMDA cannot solve the worsening traffic situation alone. The DPWH, Land Transportation Office and Land Transportation Franchising and Regulating Board and the private sector must also do their share in solving the dilemma,” he said.

Among the factors that contributed to the traffic congestion is the significant population increase in Metro Manila, which now stands at 16.5 million. –
With Christina Mendez


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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