ASEAN lanes for delegates in effect; cause heavy EDSA traffic

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 12) — The lanes reserved for Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) delegates are in effect, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Saturday.

The ASEAN lanes are the two leftmost ones on the EDSA highway.

"That will be exclusive for delegates and cars... with ASEAN passes. We advise motorists not ot use those two lanes for security reasons," MMDA spokesperson Celine Pialago told CNN Philippines' Newsroom Weekend.


Pialago said the ASEAN lanes are in effect from Balintawak in Quezon City to Magallanes in Makati City, with other affected areas including Clark Complex, Subic-Clark-Tarlac-Expressway, North Luzon Expressway, Diokno Boulevard, from Entertainment City to Buendia, Cultural Center of the Philippine Complex, Fifth Avenue, Makati Avenue, McKinley, and Lawton.

She added that entire tunnels, whether or not part of the ASEAN lanes, will be closed to motorists when delegates are passing through.

Pialago also said they will be enforcing the "stop-and-go scheme," which was also implemented during the 30th ASEAN Summit in April.

This means that when delegates' motorcades are moving, roads will be closed 15 to 20 minutes before and after the passing convoy.

"For example...EDSA-Quezon Avenue Service Road, Kamuning Service Road, P. Tuazon, EDSA-Magallanes Interchange -- all of those vehicles will be stopped once the convoy will pass through. But we will let them flow once the convoy is over already," Pialago said.

The MMDA spokesperson said the ASEAN lanes will be opened to motorists when there are long intervals between convoys and once all delagtes are sent to their billeting hotels.

Pialago, however, advised motorists against tailing convoys.

Heavy EDSA traffic

Even during the weekend, Pialago said there is still heavy traffic in EDSA, which may continue until Wednesday despite the declaration of non-working days in Metro Manila.

Pialago said as of 5 p.m. on Saturday, the tail end of the northbound traffic is already at Tramo Street in Pasay City.

She added the tail end of southbound traffic is in Balintawak, just about four kilometers away from the northernmost end of the 23.8-kilometer highway.

This prompted motorists and commuters to take their frustration to social media.

Some netizens posted about the almost standstill EDSA traffic.



Other netizens revealed people opted to just walk instead of wait in the traffic.