Commonwealth motorcycle lane: latest count is 2,422 apprehensions so far

The first week of the exclusive motorcycle lane implementation is almost at its end. How’s it coming along so far, though? Well, in a nutshell, the numbers look to be on a downtrend and the vehicle/motorist type with the most number of apprehensions is…? Take a guess. No? Oh, fine, it’s motorcycles. As of the 29th – since there’s no data yet on yesterday’s apprehensions – the total tally is at 2,422.

It seems that everyone’s starting to pay heed to the motorcycle lane

Commonwealth Motorcycle Lane Apprehensions So Far Main 00 Min

Photo: MMDA

The full implementation and enforcement of the exclusive motorcycle lane along Commonwealth Avenue started this past Monda, March 27. Since then, the daily tallies of apprehensions are 1,391, 563, and 468 for the first three days. Thursday’s totals have yet to be disclosed by the MMDA, but as of this publishing, we hope it’s continued to go lower.

Commonwealth Motorcycle Lane Apprehensions So Far Inline 01 Min

Photo: MMDA

At noon on the first day, 482 motorcycles were apprehended and fined. The second day saw 402, with the third day tallying 326. Looks like a downtrend, yes? Perhaps this is a good thing, but again, we’ve yet to see how the whole week closes out.

As for private vehicles, the number of apprehensions from days 1-3 also declined from 757 to 150 to 113. Overall, the grand plan seems to be working. But before we become too optimistic, let’s also be realistic.

As someone who lives and travels along the said highway, I know there are some chinks in the motorcycle lane implementation’s armor.

First of all, the presence of MMDA enforcers is still very scattered. From Dona Carmen towards Elliptical Road, you’ll only see them near UP Ayala Land Technohub. In the opposite direction, they’re only present after Balara, Ever Gotesco Commonwealth, and the Litex area. We totally understand that it’s difficult to mobilize too many enforcers, but this is what leads to all these vehicles running on the incorrect lanes.

Next, there’s the issue of the painted lines on the road. More so during the time that the Zipper Lanes are open, there aren’t too many lanes along the Fairview-bound side of Commonwealth for private vehicles. Add to that the fact that for some strange reason, the motorcycle lane’s markings magically narrow and widen and eventually merges into the white lanes meant for other vehicles, then you have all these private vehicles jockeying to get back into their proper lane. The result: traffic.

Finally, the general unruliness of PUVs. Best seen in the areas of Commonwealth Market, Don Antonio, the exit from Balara into Commonwealth, Diliman Doctor’s, St. Peter Church, and Litex, those coming from interior roads have a hard time getting into and out of the main artery. The result: traffic, again.

Mmda Motorcycle Lane Commonwealth Returns Main 00 Min

Granted that the motorcycle lane is still in its “infancy” (of actual and proper implementation and enforcement), these are other factors that the government needs to look at and address sooner rather than later. We had our misgivings about this whole plan being doomed to fail. Too early to think thusly? Perhaps. Again, the downtrend of violations of the motorcycle lane looks promising, but without the tenacity and consistency of enforcement, we might see this all sink. Again.

And we certainly hope that it does not.

Mikko Juangco
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