Daytime truck ban pushed.
Byline: Nina Calleja
IN ANTICIPATION of the monstrous traffic jams with the start of the holiday season, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has asked Metro mayors to approve its proposal for the implementation of a daytime truck ban on major thoroughfares.
MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino said that the members of the Metro Manila Council, the agency's policy-making body composed of the local chief executives in the metropolis, are scheduled to meet on Nov. 21 to discuss temporary measures to address the yearly buildup in vehicular traffic, particularly near shopping centers, during the holidays.
"Among the important topics is the truck ban patterned [after] the schedule enforced during the Asian Development Bank (ADB) meeting [in Manila last May]," Tolentino said during the MMDA's weekly radio program yesterday.
The MMDA had expanded the hours covered by the truck ban on the dates the foreign delegates were in Manila for the 45th ADB Board of Governors Conference. During the ADB meeting, the MMDA allowed trucks to go out on the streets only from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.
At present, cargo trucks are banned from major thoroughfares between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. during weekdays. Tolentino said the expanded ban on trucks would cover major thoroughfares, including the 24-kilometer-long Edsa. Exempted from the scheme are cargo vehicles that carry perishable items like food.
"If this is implemented at the start of the holiday season, the traffic situation at times when our fellow Metro Manila residents are out in the streets will improve," he said. Tolentino noted that a similar scheme is being implemented in other highly-urbanized cities abroad during the holiday season.
"We will let the Metro Manila mayors decide on this," he added. The present truck ban covers vehicles with a carrying capacity of more than 4,000 kilograms and imposes a P500 fine on violators.
Last year, the MMDA identified a total of 33 additional Christmas or Mabuhay Lanes on top of the 12 lanes it designated in 2010. The lanes refer to minor thoroughfares that motorists can use as alternate routes.