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MMDA road diet plan will fail

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The latest stupid idea from ex-military mutineer Danilo Lim’s Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is the road diet plan for Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA). Under the plan, one lane will be added to the existing lanes along EDSA allotted to private vehicles. The width of each existing lane will be reduced to give way for another one.
That plan will only create additional problems.

Reducing the width of each lane will reduce the space between vehicles. Vehicles will be forced to travel slowly. Collisions, which cause traffic stoppage, will result when vehicles are too close to each other.

Increasing the number of lanes along EDSA, without getting rid of the bottleneck points, road pimples and road hazards along it, will not improve the traffic situation.

There are bottlenecks at every approach to the underpasses and overpasses along EDSA because the existing four to five lanes must forcibly converge into three lanes inside the underpass or on the overpass. Traffic flow at these approaches is already tight because the vehicles in the outer lanes must compete with the vehicles in the inner lanes for space inside the underpass or the overpass.

Lim’s road diet plan will only aggravate the bottleneck at the approach to every underpass and overpass along this major roadway.

Another bottleneck exists at the northbound approach to the EDSA-Crame overpass.
Vehicles turning left under the overpass are allowed to accumulate at the two innermost lanes of EDSA. This leaves only two lanes for vehicles headed for the overpass. During the morning rush hours, this bottleneck blocks traffic all the way to Ortigas Avenue.

An irritating bottleneck can be found underneath the northbound approach to the EDSA-Quezon Avenue overpass. Because there are no MMDA traffic enforcers there, taxicabs and Grab vehicles use the narrow two-lane side road as a loading and unloading zone. Vehicles bound for Quezon Avenue accumulate as far as the National Printing Office.

There is likewise the road pimple at the center lane of EDSA across the Poveda School and the Asian Development Bank. The road pimple is actually a building occupying space as wide as 10 meters. Those 10 meters eat into the limited space allotted for the northbound lane, thus reducing the existing four lanes to only three at that particular segment of EDSA.

With four lanes reduced to three, traffic slows down in the area and vehicles accumulate as far back as the EDSA-Shaw Boulevard underpass.

That problem is aggravated by the accumulation of buses and private vehicles all headed for Robinsons Galleria at the northbound-side lanes. During rush hours, the northbound lanes of EDSA at this segment are reduced to two.

It is not clear what the road pimple building is for, but it has air-conditioning, houses an electrical facility and accommodates several vehicles in its parking area. Yes, there is a large building with a parking area at the center island of EDSA! No wonder that area of EDSA is always clogged.

There is the problem of undisciplined motorcycle drivers who weave through the lanes of EDSA as they please and, at their pace, in disregard of other vehicles. They pose a severe safety hazard for other motorists.

These motorcycles exploit the available space between vehicles in the existing four to five-lane setup on EDSA. Imagine the menace these motorcycles will create when they weave through traffic along EDSA once the available space between vehicles is reduced under the road diet plan!

Unless banned from EDSA, motorcycles slow down the pace of traffic on this major highway.

Then there are the slow-moving vehicles that use any lane of EDSA to their liking. Because they are obstacles to free-flowing traffic, they should be strictly restrained to the outermost lanes allotted for private vehicles. That way, they don’t block the innermost lane which, under an international roadway treaty, should be for fast-moving vehicles.

Lim and his idiots at the MMDA should first solve these problems before implementing their stupid road diet plan.

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