HPG assesses EDSA traffic management

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The HPG plans to eventually maximize alternate routes for the motorists coming from the eastern and western part of EDSA.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — It has been five days since the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) took over EDSA's traffic management.

And their assessment?

Based on field reports, HPG spokesperson Oliver Tanseco said there are three major reasons for the traffic mess on EDSA. 

Top reason: the sheer number of vehicles. 

The HPG says there really is a massive volume of vehicles that pass on both lanes of EDSA daily – way beyond the main road's capacity especially during the rush hour.

Second, lack of discipline on the part of motorists. 

Tanseco said congestion at major chokepoints is caused by drivers who don't follow traffic rules, specifically bus and taxi drivers. But he said there had been gradual improvements since day one.

Third, the number of vehicular accidents.

On Friday (September 11), 13 accidents happened even before 8:30 a.m. causing pile-ups along EDSA.

With this, Tanseco has an appeal to the motorists.

“Drive safely, give each other due respect, it all boils down to decency... Filipinos are known for hospitality, let’s show it not only when there are visitors. Let’s show it on the way we drive on the roads,” Tanseco said.

The HPG added 20 more personnel – their total number now reaching 170.

This is to man traffic not only along EDSA's major chokepoints, but also in areas near flyovers, service roads, and underpasses.

The HPG plans to eventually maximize alternate routes for the motorists coming from the eastern and western part of EDSA, to lessen the volume of vehicles on the main road.

“How can this be done again? It is only when we make sure that the roads alternate of EDSA are actually cleared of obstructions and LGUs are helping us implement traffic laws with their jurisdiction,” Tanseco said.

Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras went to Camp Crame Friday morning, to meet with the HPG. He said traffic along EDSA has improved.

“Somebody texted me, travel time cut down by 30 minutes. I guess ‘di naman po nagbubuhat ng sariling bangko but we have people telling us that now. I’m sure others are complaining but the journey continues,” Almendras said.

But he concedes there are limits to how much can be done under present conditions. 

“No you cannot solve EDSA,” he admitted. “What you can only do is improve it.”

Maybe not too much comfort, but at least – and at long last – the government is taking baby steps and listening to long-suffering commuters.