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What 'carmageddon?' MMDA cites several reasons for 'ordinary' friday night traffic.

Even as motorists in Metro Manila braced for 'carmageddon' on Friday night, traffic on Edsa was nothing out of the ordinary, contrary to the earlier warning of traffic-beating app Waze.

An official of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Saturday that there were several possible explanations for why motorists did not end up stuck in heavy traffic for hours as predicted by Waze.

Some motorists may have opted to take alternate routes, Bong Nebrija, the MMDA operations supervisor, noted.

He added that drivers might have also heeded Waze's warning or decided to leave their vehicles at home altogether for 'fear of being stuck' in traffic.

Nebrija said that another possible explanation could be that a lot of people may have already left Metro Manila to avoid the pre-Christmas exodus to the provinces.

But he added that for standstill traffic to occur, factors like lane blockages and bad weather should be present.

Though there were 22 vehicular accidents and seven stalled cars on Edsa on Friday, these did not have a big effect on traffic flow.

Worst day to drive

Using last year's data, Waze claimed on Tuesday that Dec. 22, the last Friday before Christmas Day, would be the 'worst day to drive' in Metro Manila, particularly from early afternoon to 6 p.m.

Earlier this month, the MMDA conducted a vehicle volume count and found that more than 402,000 cars were plying Edsa in both directions. The figure was up by nearly 35,000 cars from March.

Nebrija said that even before Waze released its forecast, they had already anticipated an increase in the number of vehicles plying Edsa, especially as the Christmas weekend approached. He added that in fact, they deployed around 100 enforcers to help manage traffic during the wee hours.

'Carmageddon did not happen. It was just like the regular weekday traffic,' he noted.

Even the morning commute wasn't as bad as netizen Guammer Partosa pointed out that it took only 30 minutes for the point-to-point bus service she was riding in to reach Mandaluyong from Quezon City.

Twitter user @GheWhaaat also said that traffic on Edsa on Friday was 'bearable.'

'It seems that everyone got scared of the supposedly carmageddon,' she observed.

Motorist Rissa Camongol said that she expected standstill traffic on Friday night but was surprised when she reached Batasan, Quezon City, from Makati City in just an hour and a half.

Considering that she used Edsa on the last weekday before a holiday and during rush hour, Camongol said her travel time was a 'miracle,' given that the trip usually takes up to two and a half hours on a regular day.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Dec 24, 2017
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