Traffic to get even worse in 2018

MMDA planning to regulate tint grade for HOV lane

Traffic congestion along Edsa —INQUIRER PHOTO/RICHARD A. REYES

Traffic congestion along Edsa —INQUIRER PHOTO/RICHARD A. REYES

Traffic in Metro Manila is bound to get worse before it gets better, as the government rolls out its infrastructure projects meant to ease road congestion in the third quarter of 2018.

“There are many projects [in 2018] that are part of the ‘Build, Build, Build’ program … that will simultaneously [start construction by this time] till the end of President Duterte’s term. For us to have better infrastructure, we need to go through heavy traffic. So we have to keep our patience up,” Transport Undersecretary for Roads Tim Orbos said.

Among the big-ticket projects scheduled in 2018 are the construction of several bridges, the rehabilitation of Guadalupe Bridge, and the construction of a common station for the metro’s three train systems; as well as the construction of the Light Rail Transit 1 (LRT 1) extension, the Metro Manila subway system and the South Integrated Terminal.

These are on top of the ongoing construction of the LRT 2 extension, the Metro Rail Transit 7 and the Southwest Integrated Terminal Exchange.

Though traffic was expected “to get worse” around the third quarter of 2018, Orbos said motorists could use alternative routes as new roads were expected to open next year, among them the Harbor Link and the Skyway Connector.

The government was also working out possible solutions to the expected road congestion like a possible flexitime schedule for office workers that, however, still needs the approval of the private sector, Orbos added.

Other programs being looked into were nighttime commerce and carpooling.

Orbos earlier said that the government was looking at releasing by the first quarter of 2018 an order setting the allowable grade of tint for car windows.

The regulation would enable the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to implement more effectively the “high-occupancy vehicle” lane to encourage carpooling among motorists.

The MMDA has been having a hard time enforcing this lane restriction along Edsa since majority of the cars recorded to have used the innermost lane have heavily tinted windows. –By: Jovic Yee

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