Driving in the City of Manila may soon become a more pleasant experience as Mayor Joseph "Erap" Estrada order the continuous clearing of major roads of various obstacles to improve traffic flow.
Estrada went on another road-clearing session Thursday morning, expelling some 250 illegal vendors and removing vehicles parked along Rizal Avenue and parts of Juan Luna Street in Divisoria.
Raids were also done on Sta. Elena Street, Padre Rada Street and Rector Bridge near Dragon 8 Shopping Center in order to prevent these vendors from developing the habit of returning to the same areas to peddle their wares.
“It looks to me these illegal vendors do not seem to grasp our seriousness in clearing our major roads of traffic-causing obstructions. We can’t go on like this, they really have to be moved to the side streets where they would not hamper traffic. We are constantly explaining to the affected vendors and those who illegally park their vehicles that the more they clog the streets, the less business and livelihood there will be for them. They must realize that clearing our roads will make Manila attractive again as a commercial hub and more people will shop here,” said Estrada.
These vendors were initially allowed to sell along the street as long as they did not impede the flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic. But as abusive vendors returned to their spots on the road causing traffic jams, Estrada was forced to clear the entire stretch of Juan Luna Street and made it vendor-free, 24/7.
“Zi-zero-in na talaga namin (We will zero in on them) even if we have to put up people to man and guard this street the whole day,” said Task Force Manila Cleanup head Che Borromeo.
[We will bring the number (of street vendors) to zero even if we have to put up people to man and guard this street (Juan Luna Street) the whole day.]
As for the illegal parking situation, members of the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB), Department of Public Services (DPS), Manila Police District (MPD), Office of the City Engineer, and Manila Tricycle Regulatory Office (MTRO) towed various vehicles, tricycles, motorized pedicabs and even motorcycles to improve traffic flow.