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Traffic Expert Says: One-Way EDSA Plan is “Stupid and Ridiculous”

Traffic Engineer Rene Santiago didn’t mince words when asked about his opinion on the ‘One-Way EDSA plan’: “I assure you, ‘pag inimplement natin ‘yan, we might be able to establish the Guinness World Record with China for 12 days of gridlock.”

What’s more, it’s “stupid” and “ridiculous,” a measure which could “trigger the world’s worst traffic jam,” he added.

This statement came following Ted Failon’s interview with Santiago in DZMM. The radio host asked his opinion on the proposal to implement a one-way traffic scheme on EDSA, which was met with skepticism by the transportation expert.

“Zombie idea eh. Kasi medyo pinalutang na ‘yan five years ago and it was already dismissed at the time as ridiculous. Kung ‘di man ridiculous ‘yan, pwede na nating tawaging stupid idea eh,” Santiago added.

Apples are Not Oranges

Taken from Wikimedia Commons

According to ABS-CBN, Santiago used Manhattan’s streets as an example why the one-way scheme worked:

“It worked effectively kasi lahat nung north, south road like 1st Avenue, 2nd Avenue nagko-cross ‘yan ng grid pattern ng 3rd Street kaya pag ginawa mong one-way ‘yung isang block walang problema (It worked effectively because north and south roads like 1st Ave., 2nd Ave. crosses in a grid pattern with the 3rd street. So if you make a block one-way there’s no problem),” he said. “‘Yung kakaliwaan, iikot, kasi ‘yung capacity nung dadaanan niyang kaliwaan ay pareho (If you turn left, you will go around because the capacity was the same).”

The problem with implementing the same scheme on EDSA is that its crossroads don’t have enough lanes.

“‘Yung EDSA tsaka C5 pagliko ho n’yan, ano lang ba ang nagkokonek ng EDSA tsaka C5? McKinley Road, effectively four lanes lang ‘yan. Magsisiksikan. ‘Pag pinadaan mo ‘yung 10 lanes na sasakyan d’yan, sigurado ho tayong gridlock (When you turn from EDSA and C5, what connects it? McKinley Road which effectively has four effective lanes, cars would be compacted. If you allow vehicles from 10 lanes, it would surely end up in a gridlock),” he told radio DZMM.

Implement the Yellow Lane Policy

Santiago added that the immediate solution to lessen Metro Manila’s traffic congestion is to enforce its yellow lane policy for buses.

Ang pag-execute nila ng yellow lane favors the private cars rather than the buses. ‘Yung yellow lane tinayo ‘yan para bumilis ang takbo ng mga buses, eh sumisikip dahil pinipilit nilang di lumabas ang bus sa yellow lane, (The way they execute the yellow lane favors the private cars rather than the buses. The yellow lane was made in order for faster passage of buses, it resulted in traffic because they don’t allow buses out of the yellow lane),” he said.

Mahihirapan po ang private cars pero hindi naman po natin intensyon na pabutihin ang takbo ng private cars. Angintensyon natin pabutihin at pabilisin ang takbo ng bus dahil mas marami pong taong nakikinabang sa bus kesa sa mga sumasakay sa kotse (Private cars will experience difficulty but our intention is not to make their traffic lighter, our intention is to make the passage of buses faster because more people benefit from buses than private cars),” Santiago added.

Number Coding Only Favors the Rich

He also added that number coding scheme isn’t effective.

Lalo nga hong dumami ‘yung sasakyan ngayon dahil sa number coding. Matagal nang inimplement ‘yan. (The number scheme resulted in more cars, it was implemented long ago). Ang research d’yan all over the world is it actually encourages more cars,” Santiago shared. “Pinapaboran lalo natin ‘yung mayayaman at pinahihirapan ang mahihirap. Mas maraming bibili ng auto, mas maraming walang parking (It favors the rich and oppresses the poor. More people will buy cars, more will have no parking).”

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1 Comment

  1. Jojo DG Castro
    August 30, 2019 at 7:47 pm — Reply

    This guy is bitter simply because it was not his idea. Calling a suggestion stupid without any basis just shows the emptiness of his argument. If he really is a traffic engineer, he could have done something long ago already, instead of criticizing and beating dead horse ideas of yellow lane implementation and color coding.
    Buses travel long routes from north to south of Metro Manila. Private cars travel short routes normally going in between the roads along EDSA. The idea of a one-way travel is for the cars traveling shorter routes to reach their destination faster, taking them off the road earlier and the rest of the vehicles go quicker.
    Had this so-called traffic “engineer” offer a better alternative, then I will give him my benefit of the doubt, instead of his sourgraping tone. Ridiculous.
    By the way I am also an engineer, a professional mechanical engineer, just to let you know.

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