Unsolicited advice to the MMDA
To the administrative super body that is so much an unavoidable and unrelenting part of our daily urban life in our country's biggest metropolis, we offer some unsolicited advice to guide the MMDA to introspection in the hope that it continues to make a net positive difference to better our daily lives.
Best practices from the past
- their quick reaction force was very effective in dealing with informal settlers and snap mobs that blockade city streets
- clearing illegal vendors and flea markets from all sidewalks and footbridges along major intersections and multi-modal transit points
- removing parking space encroachments of road right of way, preserving pedestrian curbs and bicycle paths
- fencing of sidewalks and medians to prevent jaywalking and roving gangs of "rugby boys"
- preventing scrap thieves from stealing guard rails, crosswalk railings, street signs and street furniture
- continuing adjustments to one-way paths and U-turn slots
- embedding and aligning lane divider reflective studs
Best practices thats maintained
- managing pedestrian and traffic flow in the extremely unruly EDSA-Baclaran-Taft-Roxas Blvd. Zone
- managing pedestrian and traffic flow at the busy EDSA Ortigas junction
- managing pedestrian and traffic flow at La Salle Green Hills, Ortigas Ave.
- installing MMDA art on grimy walls and columns
- installing flashing LED lights, reflective poles and tiles on traffic islands
- keeping official tow trucks at the ready in strategic emergency bays
- expanding access to mass media to CCTV camera network for real time traffic flow
- installing glazed ceramic tiles on the walls of the underpasses
- landscaping of medians
- reducing loading bays to reduce traffic blockages
Best practices that needs to be revived
- preserving the blue polo jac on blue trousers traffic police like uniforms instead of converting to the dusty beige uniform which is hardly visible.
- Issuance of reflective/fluorescent belts, vests, bands or mesh tunics for all MMDA personnel- metro aides, landscaping, engineering and traffic officers - for better visibility
- using raw concrete on grimy vertical spaces instead of frequent repainting
- avoid using knitted sport shirts for patrolmen in lieu of the uniform polo jac. The lack of pockets make it impractical for police duties
- supporting Holiday Economics that add more time for public transport to turn around, which help increase road through put capacity before or after a long weekend
- enforcing the limited headcount of buses that enter the Metro, including all the other programs related to this like the RFID tags and roof painted license plate number.
Best practices that needs to be initiated
- abusive drivers of non-air con buses that speed/ swerve through all 6 lanes of EDSA and load/unload passengers at illegal fence breaks or slip road approaches in Trinoma, Cubao, Shaw, Buendia and Taft
- designating a truck lane on EDSA so trucks do not block the other lanes when they pass through at night
- restoring the median divider height at the Kalayaan C-5 divider. It used to be high enough to shield traffic from the glare of a truck's headlight, but now not only do the lower concrete Jersey barriers that have replaced it allow on-coming glare, it also tempts the athletic sprinters among jaywalkers.
- Consistent repairing and restoring the fences of C-5 Taguig as vandals are always trying to destroy the Vazbilt concrete fence, the steel fence and the mesh fence in the median
- disciplining jaywalkers and the lack of solid median barriers and dividers at EDSA Balintawak, Roosevelt, Dansalangin SM City and Trinoma segments.
- Filling up the orange plastic Jersey barriers with water so that jaywalkers and motorcyclists cannot dislodge them in order to execute illegal turns or crossing
- increasing the median emergency bays and seal them with fences to prevent tempting riders of 2 wheelers from crossing into the opposite lane
- policing road right of way and vendor/parking encroachments in QC
- policing bands of vagrant youths and homeless who prowl the city streets, especially in QC
- designing and enforcing traffic channeling barriers that will teach drivers coming from a minor road to merge into a major road seamlessly with minimal disruption to traffic flow.
- Realigning Traffic lanes on EDSA as the MRT has made a crooked path of EDSA's lane 6 and 5
- improving traffic flow on the left turn from Mindanao Ave to North Ave.
- improving the circulatory one way system in Ortigas Center by expanding the area covered to include C-5 and Shaw blvd.
- Improving traffic flow in the Global City. As of now the Merit Road of Fort Bonifacio continues to be closed and the traffic flow on the junction with Kalayaan is a mess
- Improving traffic flow on top of the Sampaguita interchange of C-5 as public utility jeeps are parked 3 abreast, blocking the intersection as the drivers do not pay attention to the FBDC [Fort Bonifacio Development Corp.] security guards. This bottleneck lasts up to midnight.
- Improving traffic flow along JPRizal and the traffic going into Sgt. Fabian Yabut st. on the Guadalupe EDSA interchange as a squatter colony in this area is already encroaching on the National Road while PUJs load/unload three abreast
- supporting the Congressional bill to be known as the Competence Accreditation Program and Minimum Wage for Bus Drivers Act of 2011, whereby drivers will get proper training and subjected to an accreditation program before being allowed to ply the streets. Only accredited drivers will be allowed to drive public utility buses in Metro Manila and in the provinces under this bill which will also require bus operators to pay them a fixed monthly salary.
- enforcing the program to force buses to follow a dispatch schedule, resist overtaking and travel like trains
- supporting mandating engine speed limiters for buses like they do in Latin America, Middle East and Europe
- pushing for establishing multi-modal transport terminals in North, East and South outskirts of the Metro and close all those bus terminals in Cubao.
- Installing more of footbridges on Commonwealth Avenue, not only to prevent jaywalking but to also provide speed limit monitoring teams more positions to use their speed radar guns.
- Designing and installing a system of ramps and footbridges to cover the whole Balintawak cloverleaf area so that market bound handcarts and pushcarts can use the footbridges rather than risk jaywalking and in the process destroying the median barriers and landscaping.
- Installing more Footbridges on EDSA near the NIA Road and also between Crame to Aguinaldo on EDSA as when the MRT station closes, there is no safe way to cross the EDSA at night.
- Encouraging Ayala CBD to keep all its pedestrian underpasses open at night so that night shift and BPO workers can cross the road in safety
- monitoring and removing road signs that are no longer relevant
- adopting a 10% leeway over the posted speed limit
- monitoring the gaps between fences and Jersey barriers to prevent illegal crossings. At one time, the U-turn slots and fence-lane-loading bay dividers on the Marikina section of the Marcos Highway to Masinag were a good example but now gaps in the fences and Jersey barriers encourage dangerous short cuts by 2 wheelers.
We hope that by publishing this laundry list, we've made the MMDA's job easier by telling them what we expect from them.