By Martin Sadongdong
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Saturday reiterated its call for public cooperation and understanding as it expects “horrible” traffic early this year because of various infrastructure projects being constructed by the government.
MMDA assistant general manager Jojo Garcia said the cooperation of all stakeholders could help ease the “heavier” traffic expected this year due to the Department of Transportation (DOTr)’s construction of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) Cavite extension and the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) extension.
The construction of the Metro Rail Transit Line 7 (MRT-7) and the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Harbor Link Segment 10 in Caloocan City and several bridges in the metropolis will also start this year, according to the DOTr.
“We would just follow what chairman (Danilo Lim) has been saying, ‘back to basic.’ We have a lot of road problems but we should address our problem on discipline because the traffic remains there,” he said.
After being appointed last year, Lim believes discipline should be instilled first among motorists before the problem on horrible traffic could be solved, thus the “back to basic” belief of the MMDA.
Garcia said this mantra of the MMDA remains their top solution in facing the traffic problems as no short-term solutions were seen to ease the metro gridlock.
The MMDA also urged mall operators to extend the implementation of adjusted mall hours which was proven effective in easing traffic during the holiday season.
The MMDA had an agreement with shopping malls in the metro to adjust their operations from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. while delivery hours will be adjusted to 11 p.m. until 5 a.m. The agreement took effect on October 15, 2017 until January 15, 2018.
The MMDA reported that traffic in major thoroughfares saw an improvement as it was 10 percent faster after the implementation of the adjusted mall hours.