Mayor Vico Sotto claims MMDA’s failed traffic policies along EDSA made matters worse in Pasig

August 12, 2019 - 4:40 PM
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto talking to reporters (The STAR/ Boy Santos)

Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto cited the Metro Manila Development Authority’s recent traffic schemes as the reasons that made finding traffic solutions in Pasig more challenging.

The MMDA conducted a provincial bus ban and enforced the yellow lane policy along EDSA on August 7 in an effort to reduce the amount of vehicles passing there.

However, it only worsened traffic conditions in Metro Manila.

This was pointed out by Sotto in a long letter he shared on Facebook. He also attached a screenshot of Pasig’s roads via Google Maps.

“In recent days, we have had to deal with even more challenges. Most notably, the efforts of the #MMDA along #EDSA have greatly increased vehicle volume in C5 and even the interior roads of Pasig. We will defer to the wisdom and authority of the MMDA, but this increased traffic on our side is a reality for now,” Sotto wrote on August 9.

[Traffic Management][Summary of long post:We are working hard and we have outside experts helping us craft a…

Posted by Vico Sotto on Friday, August 9, 2019

The officials of Pasig have been working with “outside experts” to craft a comprehensive mobility management plan for the city, which report is due on August 15.

Mayors of Metro Manila were given 45 days since last month to come up with quick fixes to solve the traffic congestion in their areas.

Sotto emphasized that such task was particularly difficult for him given the fact that a large volume of vehicles going from Quezon City to Makati and Rizal province to Metro Manila pass through the city’s main roads.

Among the initial actions he took were:

  1. Update relevant traffic data such as the amount of vehicles passing through Pasig
  2. Contact the traffic enforcers trained but not absorbed during the previous administration.

He also cited other short-term solutions in the comments section.

Vico Sotto comment
(Screenshot by Interaksyon)

In the long run, he sees reducing the demand for vehicles as the most effective solution.

“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,” Sotto said.

“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,” he added.

Photos and video clips of traffic buildup showed that MMDA’s policies restricting the passage of city and provincial buses along EDSA resulted in further inconvenience to commuters and motorists.

Despite the evident failure, MMDA still considered reducing the number of buses as the solution to EDSA’s never-ending traffic problem.

The economy loses P3.5 billion a day due to the traffic in Metro Manila, according to President Rodrigo Duterte during his recent State of the Nation Address.

Earlier traffic solutions in Pasig

Sotto started taking some measures to provide a more organized flow of transportation in his city prior to the general meeting of the city mayors and the Department of Interior and Local Government last month.

On June 5, he met with Mayor Kit Nieto of Cainta, Rizal to discuss a better partnership between the two cities and solve common issues such as traffic congestion along the Ortigas Extension.

In his first week, he suspended the odd-even traffic system in the city, which confused many motorists since it was enacted in 2016.

Under this scheme, vehicles with license plates ending in even numbers are banned on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Meanwhile, those ending in odd numbers are not allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Instead, he created a task force specifically for traffic management in Pasig.