January 21, 2017
MMDA’s Zipper Lane Back to the Drawing Board; Other Measures Being Studied
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced yesterday that it will suspend the planned Monday implementation of the zipper lane scheme from Main Avenue to Guadix in Ortigas.
The zipper lane was supposed to ease up the traffic flow in the Cubao-Ortigas corridor – considered as one of the most congested areas along Edsa. Out of the 45 provincial bus terminals along Edsa, 26 are located in Cubao, while Ortigas has nine of the largest malls and two schools in proximity to the Edsa bus terminals. In addition, the area also holds a police and military camp along Edsa.
“We need to go back to the drawing board to make necessary adjustments,” MMDA General Manager Tim Orbos said, in relation to the zipper lane dry run last Friday. “But we cannot stop looking for solutions to address this area.” While the zipper lane significantly reduced travel time on the southbound direction, it affected northbound traffic flow as result.
“We need to come out with solutions that would benefit the majority for the long term,” Orbos pointed out. “By its very nature, the zipper lane scheme just works as a release valve that can readily be utilized but not on a regular basis.”
According to the MMDA official, the traffic problems along Edsa are sectional, and therefore, solutions vary on a by segment basis.
Among the other measures being studied specifically for the aforementioned area are the opening up of more roads to include building a new access road in the Santolan area; stricter anti-illegal parking enforcement; and queuing of vehicles at the schools, restaurants, and other establishments will also be intensified.
“We need to exert our effort to find all ways and means to reduce congestion and make vehicles move before we even consider other measures being pushed such as the odd-even scheme,” Orbos said in apparent reference to some sectors pushing for stricter volume reduction measures.
“In the process, we will still pursue the zipper lane. It will be there like a safety valve ready to be opened when needed, “ Orbos added..