It seems like the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority's (MMDA) new traffic policies along EDSA have earned the government agency the ire of Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto.
According to the 30-year old elected official, there has been increased traffic volume along C5, as well as the interior roads of Pasig City ever since the MMDA started strictly implementing the bus lane policy, as well as with other new traffic policies. However, despite the resulting increase in vehicular traffic, Sotto said that they will still defer to the wisdom & authority of the MMDA, but the sad state of heavier traffic in their city is now a reality they have to live with.
Aside from citing the MMDA's recent traffic policies, Sotto also said that in order for traffic to be reduced greatly in both Pasig and Metro Manila, the demand for cars needs to be lessened.
“With all of this in mind, the bottomline is that traffic in Pasig and Metro Manila will continue to worsen no matter what traffic policies we have, unless we lessen the demand for cars. This means a greater focus on moving people rather than private vehicles. This means incorporating more non-car modes of transportation in our long-term plans,” added Sotto.
Another reason as to why traffic continues to worsen are schools. With the amount of vehicles that come and go in schools, colleges and universities, these also contribute to the heavy traffic volume during weekdays.
For now, Sotto said that they are doing all they can in order to alleviate the worsening traffic conditions in Pasig. 44 traffic enforcers (who were previously trained by the MMDA but not absorbed by the previous administration) have already been called upon in order to help manage traffic, as well as to increase enforcer visibility.
Other solutions that the city gov't has come up with include: Recalibration of stoplights based on more recent data, clearer policy on the turning off of stoplights for manual enforcement, partnership with PNP to help with enforcement and entrapment ops for kotong enforcers, coordination with the DPWH and Manila Water for faster rehabiliation along C. Raymundo, as well as the clearing of all public roads in the city.
Aside from that, the city government is also waiting for the Traffic Management Task Force (TMTF) to present their other recommendations that will help decongest traffic in Pasig. However, with the lack of new traffic and vehicular data, Sotto said that this may take awhile and that the effects will not be felt immediately.
“Isipin niyo, nung pinatanong ko kung ilan ang terminal ng TODA sa Pasig, wala palang kumpletong listahan! Ang mga stoplight naman natin, ang vehicle volume/traffic count na ginagamit ay yung galing pa palang taong 2014! Hindi magiging epektibo ang mga patakaran natin nang walang maayos na datos-pangkabuuan,” said Sotto.
[Think about it, when I asked about how many TODA terminals are in Pasig, they had incomplete data! The number of stoplights, the amount of vehicle volume / traffic count that they have been using are all from 2014! Our new traffic policies will not be effective if we don't have all the correct and proper data to use”]
Despite all the difficulties ahead, Sotto stated that they are prepared to fight for the sake of better mobility in, out of, and around Pasig.