EDSA celebrations paralyze Metro Manila traffic

MANILA, Philippines – On the 29th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution on Wednesday, February 25, crowds of people spilled onto the streets.

But they're not on their way to the commemoration activities at the EDSA shrine. They're stranded commuters, trying to find alternate routes to work after portions of EDSA were closed to traffic.

Starting midnight until 4 pm on Wednesday, the stretch of EDSA northbound from Shaw Boulevard in Mandaluyong City to Santolan in Quezon City was closed, triggering massive traffic jams that paralyzed parts of the metro.

Angry commuters took to social media to air their frustrations, with many questioning the logic of shutting down a major road to make way for the EDSA celebrations on a working holiday.

While the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) already posted a traffic advisory a day earlier, some commuters were caught by suprise. Many had no choice but to walk to get to their destinations.

Northbound buses take C5 instead of EDSA. Passengers going to Guadalupe/Ortigas have no choice but to walk. @MovePH pic.twitter.com/dO0MxcDbqC — Jodesz Gavilan (@jodeszgavilan) February 25, 2015

Ang bobo ng nagpasara ng EDSA. Nakakairita. Ang daming lakad na nasayang. Ang daming Pilipinong bugnot dahil sa traffic. — Michael Irvin™ (@MikiMartinez_) February 25, 2015

Whoever came up with the idea to make today a working holiday is an idiot. Look at the horrible traffic! #EDSA — Chuckie Dreyfus (@chuckiedreyfus) February 25, 2015

To help stranded passengers, the MMDA deployed shuttle services starting 12:30 am until 10 am.

Edward Gonzales, head of the MMDA road emergency group, said they were able to ferry around 3,500 commuters along the northbound lane from Ortigas to Santolan.

Gonzales said that 3 buses, two 6x6 trucks, and one 4x4 truck were deployed during the operation. 

The northbound lane from Shaw Boulevard to Santolan was opened to traffic at 4 pm.

The southbound lane in EDSA Santolan, however, is experiencing heavy traffic due to rallyists in the area. Rappler.com