Clearing of Mabuhay Lanes goes full blast Monday

MANILA, Oct. 30 (PNA) — In an effort to decongest the designated alternate routes for motorists who want to avoid Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (Edsa), starting Monday (Nov.2), the composite traffic and clearing operations teams of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), local government units (LGUs) and the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (HPG), along with Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Land Transportation Office (LTO) will clear all forms of obstruction along Mabuhay Lanes.

The move was to alleviate traffic flows along the 23.8-km Edsa and all secondary roads around Metro Manila in anticipation of the Yuletide season.

The “Mabuhay” lanes, which cover 17 roads, are alternative routes for motorists used to avoid the congested EDSA from North to South directions.

MMDA Officer in Charge Emerson Carlos said initially two teams each from the agency’s Sidewalk Clearing Operations Group, Parking Discipline Group and Task Force Anti-Illegal Terminal, together with their counterparts from HPG, DPWH, LTO and DILG, will be deployed to clear the 21 routes of the Mabuhay Lanes of ambulant vendors and road obstructions such as illegally parked vehicles.

Carlos said the MMDA teams will also be handing out leaflets and flyers to remind motorists and the concerned residents that the alternate routes for Edsa should be free of any form of road obstructions from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“We should educate them that these alternate routes should be free of obstructions during these times or else we would be clearing them repeatedly,” Carlos said, noting that the Mabuhay Lanes must be decongested until the Holiday rush when vehicular traffic in Metro Manila increases substantially.

Carlos also said that all permits issued by barangay officials concerning the use of roads such as vending on the streets and sidewalks are deemed cancelled and vendors’s wares will be confiscated and turned over to the local government units.

Motor vehicles that will be hauled by tow trucks during the operation will be brought to the nearest MMDA impounding area.

For his part, PNP-HPG director, Chief Supt. Arnold Gunnacao said that they will strictly enforce the no parking zone in all Mabuhay lanes as they will not tolerate the erring car owners with ‘padrino’ system as they implement the rule of law to lessen the traffic in

He ordered his men not to honor calling cards of government or police officials to get away from traffic violations.

Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras said the government will strictly enforce all traffic rules and regulations without let-up for the duration of the two-month long clearing operations of Edsa and Mabuhay Lanes.

“This is response to the complaints of our people, for some, a cry for help for their government to come to their aid,” Almendras said.

Almendras said the traffic initiatives that will be implemented starting Nov. 2 by the inter-agency group include :

All illegally parked motor vehicles on Edsa and secondary streets of Mabuhay or Christmas lanes will be towed away and violators will be apprehended and slapped with corresponding fines and penalties;

Illegal vending of ambulant vendors with their “karitons” (push carts) in tow along Edsa will no longer be allowed and their wares will be confiscated if they refuse to cooperate, under existing LGU ordinances;

Even those (illegal vendors) claiming they have secured permits to sell their wares will be apprehended ; and,

Some u-turn slots that have been found to be unnecessary along Edsa and other major thoroughfares will be closed and replaced with more efficient signal light system.

Almendras also noted that PNP-HPG would stay on EDSA until June 30 next year.

Earlier, President Aquino ordered the PNP-HPG to address the traffic condition on EDSA’s six chokepoints last month, after former MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino was criticized for the traffic jams in the metropolis.

The six chokepoints are Balintawak, Cubao, Ortigas, Shaw Boulevard, Guadalupe, and Taft Avenue. (PNA)