MANILA - Metro Manila traffic may just worsen due to the closure of the Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge and Sta. Mesa Bridge scheduled this month, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Saturday.
The Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge connecting Mandaluyong City and Makati City is set for repairs, while the old Sta. Mesa Bridge connecting San Juan City and Quezon City will be closed for 7 months to make way for the construction of the Skyway Project.
MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia said there would be no new traffic schemes, only stricter implementation of clearing all possible alternate routes for motorists.
“This month, ang Estrella Bridge magsasara ‘yan so just imagine saan pupunta ‘yan... dumadaan diyan 100,000 a day so imagine saan pupunta ‘yan? EDSA na naman (the Estrella bridge will be closed so just imagine where the traffic there will go... 100,000 vehicles a day pass there so where will they go? Edsa again),” Garcia told reporters Saturday during the MMDA's Operational Readiness, Safety, Inspection Traffic Evaluation (ORSITE) event at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila.
Earlier this week, the MMDA sought to increase fines for those who park illegally and disrupt traffic flow especially along Mabuhay Lanes or alternate routes connected to EDSA.
Garcia said they have yet to finalize with the Metro Manila Council's traffic committee the full implementation of new fines for illegal parking: P1,000 for attended vehicles and P2,000 for unattended vehicles.
“Again, I'm calling the attention of the public, 'pag alam niyong bawal, huwag na po kayo magparada (if you know it's illegal to park, don't do it),” Garcia warned.
Aside from relentless clearing operations against illegal vendors and illegally parked vehicles along Mabuhay Lanes, the MMDA has carried out other measures to ease traffic such as the number coding scheme, calls for carpooling, and the reduction of provincial buses on EDSA.
Meanwhile, more than 2,000 MMDA enforcers gathered at the Quirino Grandstand Saturday to receive awards for their accomplishments.
Garcia stressed the importance for all enforcers to maintain discipline and good grooming at all times. He added that the MMDA has maintained its good image and morale among its personnel.
“Nung araw, pag nakakita ng naka-asul ‘yung mga tao, natatakot ‘yan, kinakabahan kasi pera ‘yan, kotong. Ngayon, pag nakakita ng MMDA, handang tumulong. Eto show of force, to show ito kami, handa kami tumulong at magsilbi sa inyo,” Garcia said.
(Before, when people see those in blue uniform, they get scared and nervous because to them that means money or extortion. Now, when they see MMDA enforcers, [it means] ready to help. This is a show of force, we're here, we are ready to help and serve you.)