Great idea? – Open EDSA Bus Lane for all vehicles during “off-peak hours” to reduce traffic

A new idea from former Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza involves the EDSA Bus Lane being opened during “off-peak” hours to all types of vehicles and reverting to being an exclusive bus lane during “peak” or “rush hours”. Many ways have been devised, implemented, and enforced to help improve EDSA traffic, and as you can see in the photo above, while the busway remains clear, all sorts of vehicles are caught in gridlock along the major thoroughfare. Do you agree with the idea?

Off-Peak and Rush-Hour EDSA Bus Lane scheme – can it solve traffic?

Dotr Mmda Special Action And Intelligence Committee For Transportation Edsa Busway open Edsa Bus Lane inline 01

Photo: Metro Manila Development Authority

In a report published last week, former Mayor and Deputy Speaker Lito Atienza floated the idea of allowing “ordinary motorists” to use the EDSA Bus Lane during what he called “off-peak hours”. It was stated in the report that, in a letter addressed to PBBM, a degree of flexibility is needed regarding the use of the EDSA busway to help alleviate traffic.

“Buses can be given this privilege during rush hours—two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening. The rest of the day, let ordinary motorists enjoy the full use of EDSA. It is so sad, even tragic, to see one lane empty most of the day while ordinary citizens are cramped in the very limited roadway,” Atienza was quoted as saying.

Dotr Mmda Special Action And Intelligence Committee For Transportation Edsa Busway open Edsa Bus Lane inline 02

Photo: Metro Manila Development Authority

As a former City Mayor, Atienza is drawing on his experience upon making this suggestion. Aside from the off-peak use of the EDSA Bus Lane, he is also suggesting the proper (re)enforcement of truck bans that will implement regulations on their movements to only be allowed within specific hours, as well as re-orienting and retraining of traffic enforcers and making them promote free-flowing vehicular traffic their priority and not simply to apprehend traffic rule violators.

More importantly, the report also stated that Atienza is calling on city Mayors and LGU leaders to help clear roadways of obstructions and make sure that sidewalks and interior streets are clear of establishments, parked vehicles, and debris at all times. This can provide a safer place for pedestrians as well as a wider space for vehicles to use.

Mmda Edsa Bus Lane Bus Carousel Proposal To Close Main 00 Min

Photo: Metro Manila Development Authority

“We believe that if the national and local government leaders, as well as the motorists themselves, work together, we would be able to achieve a smoother flow of traffic in major areas of the country,” Atienza added, per the report.

Is a free-for-all-during-off-peak-hours EDSA Bus Lane a viable solution to traffic? Here’s where we ask for your opinion; let us know in the comments below.

Mikko Juangco
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