MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said it would study the feasibility of a proposal to make EDSA a one-way road.
The engineering group Guevara & Partners Incorporated (GPI) presented the traffic scheme on on Wednesday, August 28, with the support of MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago.
GPI president Fernando Guevara said he conducted this traffic study in 2014, when he noticed that his employees always arrived for work late. He recognized that the EDSA traffic problem had not abated and had even worsened through the years.
According to Guevara, making EDSA one-way would increase the average speed of vehicles passing along EDSA from less than 20 kph to up to 42 kph.
Pialago said the average number of vehicles that pass through EDSA now amounts to 386,000 to 402,000 daily.
“We all know what’s happening in EDSA and we are in a chaotic situation na araw-araw kinakaharap ng mga kababayan natin. So ‘yung mga ganitong klase na pag-aaral, na-appreciate po natin ‘to at pag-aaralan po ng ating engineering department,” she said.
(Filipinos face this chaotic situation every day. So we appreciate studies, which our engineering department can look into.)
How will it work?
The proposal is twofold: make EDSA one-way, with C-5 accommodating traffic that goes the opposite direction, and have bus stops within a 200-meter radius of any residence.
Here are the highlights of the proposal:
- EDSA and C-5 will be converted into paired one-way roads, with EDSA traffic going clockwise or southbound and C-5 traffic going counterclockwise or northbound.
- Bus rapid transit (BRT) will be implemented on EDSA. There will be lanes dedicated to buses located at the curb or at the center of EDSA.
- Road space for cars will be reduced on EDSA and increased outside of it.
- A central monitoring system will be implemented to oversee dispatching buses and commuter volume, among others.
Under this proposed scheme, public transport will be prioritized in terms of road space and traffic signal operation. Guevara believes that if public modes of transportation are improved, more travelers will opt to use them.
Guevara wants transport services to be inclusive and accessible to persons of all ages and abilities.
He said public buses should be able to align their floors with the street gutter instead of having stairs, which would make it accessible to persons with disabilities and reduce dwell time in bus stops as well.
Guevara said the first step toward implementing this plan is the passage of Senate Bill 847 or the Commuter Welfare Act authored by Senator Grace Poe. It was filed on July 31, 2019.
While the bill states that public transport services should be available within 500 meters from any residence, Guevara proposed to make it 200 meters, as it is the internationally acceptable distance for a commuter’s walk.
Guevara said he had sent his proposal to President Rodrigo Duterte, but it was passed on to the Department of Transportation.