IN response to the appeals of some motorists and the Quezon City government, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will reopen the U-turn slot in front of the Quezon City Academy on EDSA by Friday.
MMDA Gen. Manager Jojo Garcia confirmed this during the Tuesday hearing of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development chaired by Manila 1st District Rep. Manuel Luis “Manny” T. Lopez.
“We are all one in recognizing this traffic situation has already reached such magnitude and that there is really no easy fix to this problem.Today, the MMDA acknowledged the gravity of the problem and has promised by Friday to immediately cooperate with concern governments and open-up a U-turn slot this Friday,” Lopez said in his closing remarks.
“Our goal is to have long-term and effective solutions to our traffic problems. Until we achieve this goal, our committee will continue monitoring the development of the projects to ensure that the public is given what it deserves,” he added.
Garcia said this decision was made in consultation with the Quezon City government whose residents have been greatly affected by the traffic jam triggered by the closure of many U-turn slots along EDSA, which is part of the EDSA Busway Project that exclusively designates the innermost lane of EDSA to buses. He said other U-turn slots may be opened to emergency vehicles.
Lopez also tasked the MMDA to ensure the safety and welfare of the commuters and motorists in the implementation of the project, stressing the crucial impacts of heavy traffic in the major thoroughfare.
“This issue does not only affect the residents of Quezon City, or Caloocan, or Makati or those residents or localities that is traversed by EDSA,” the lawmaker said. “This issue affects the whole of Metro Manila and in a large part the whole of the country.”
“Traffic and delays in this major thoroughfare spills over to most other roads in the metropolis. With this traffic in all areas affected, precious time is lost. Irrecoverable time of our people and economic losses which if quantified will surely be substantial,” he added.
Elvira Medina, chair of the National Center for Commuter Safety, also thanked the committee and MMDA for prioritizing the welfare of the public commuters this time.
“Talaga pong (Indeed,) it’s high-time for a paradigm shift,” Lopez responded.
Quezon City 1st District Rep. Anthony “Onyx” Crisologo, QC 6th District, Rep. Jose Christopher “Kit” Belmonte, and Quezon City 4th District Rep. Jesus “Bong” Suntay, who attended the hearing, also welcomed the plan to reopen the U-turn slot to address the bottlenecks on the roads near their districts.