(Metro News) MMDA plans to put motorcycle lane in EDSA

October 18, 2011 9:49 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 18 — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Tuesday said it is eyeing the implementation of motorcycle lane at the 24-kilometer long Epifanio De Los Santos Avenue (EDSA), the metropolis’ prime thoroughfare.

But MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said any such plan would have to wait after the holiday season due to the expected traffic problem with thousands of shoppers and visitors trooping to the metropolis’ shopping malls and other business establishments.

Tolentino said EDSA will adopt this scheme if the project on Commonwealth and Macapagal Boulevard will be able to successfully reduce the number of motorcycle accidents and decongest traffic.

The MMDA said more than 220,000 public and private vehicles ply EDSA on a daily basis.

“I think this is the biggest challenge to implement a similar policy at EDSA but if the pilot-project on Commonwealth and Macapagal Boulevard will succeed then we will implement it at EDSA. But this will be after the holiday season, probably early January next year,” he said.

The first day of the implementation of the stepped up efforts for motorcycle riders to drive on the designated lane at the two major roadways saw more than 1,000 apprehension.

But they were only made to attend a 15-minute safety seminar. The MMDA said their enforcers would only start issuing traffic citation tickets with a corresponding P500 fine to violators starting October 24.

Complaints ranging from not knowing about the start of the policy as well as designated lane not properly marked and identified forced the agency to adopt some minor adjustments but Tolentino said all is well considering that it is the first such kind of scheme to be implemented in the country.

He said they would also put in additional traffic signs and warnings along strategic areas of Commonwealth and Macapagal Boulevard informing motorcycle riders of the location of the lanes.

The increasing number of fatal road accidents involving motorcycles prompted authorities to come up with such measures along with the 60-kilometer per hour speed limit, which motorcycle riders still have to follow despite having their own lanes.

Data gathered by the MMDA Road Safety Unit showed that accidents involving motorcycles in Metro Manila have continued to increase with 12,656 accidents and 104 fatalities in 2008, 13,561 in 2009 with 105 deaths and 16, 208 with 177 fatalities in 2010. (PNA)

FFC/CLTC

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