Saturday, July 14, 2012

MMDA Yellow Lane Policy: Boon or Bane?

Ever since the MMDA "implemented" the yellow lane policy last July 9, commuters have had to endure a longer travel time.

Based on this policy, all buses and trucks are barred from using the flyovers, tunnels, and underpasses in specific hours of the day.   This policy has been in place by MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando in 2003 under MMDA Resolution #03-28 or the Edsa Organized Bus Route Project.  This resolution aims to effectively manage flow of the 3,000 buses plying the length of Edsa; unfortunately, it was not fully implemented.  Though I must admit that this policy have its merit the problem of enforcement remains to be a challenge.  Like all 60 km/hr speed limit along Commonwealth and the anti-jaywaking drive, buses and commuters will remain to be hard headed if this rules will not consistently be enforced.

Four days into the implementation of the yellow lane policy I got on to a bus at SM Mega Mall around 9pm  and with no MMDA enforcer manning the Ortigas flyover we drove on ahead without being stopped.  This bus was also cruising more that 60 km/hr along Commonwealth Avenue reckless as a drunk driver!  Whatever happened to the 24-hour MMDA manning of Edsa and Commonwealth?

Anyway, let's face it---the Filipino driver, both public and private, do not have the self discipline to follow traffic rules. The yellow lane is but a demarcation line and given the opportunity the undisciplined will cross it.  MMDA enforcers guard only the lane nearest underpasses and flyovers.  What happens in between is a free for all.  What results is a bunch of buses trying to squeeze back into the yellow lane before they reach the flyover and underpass.  This was what happened during my bus trip home last Monday.  Would you believe it took 30 minutes for the bus I'm in to get from SM Mega Mall to Robinson's Galleria.  Our bus was out of the yellow lane and before the Ortigas flyover we inched our way back.  Needless to say, our bus was not the only one trying to go back to the "right lane".  In no time the north-bound lane of Edsa Ortigas was blocked by these unruly bus drivers.

I do believe the problem here is the lack of strict and consistent ENFORCEMENT of the traffic rules.  MMDA should be strict not only near flyovers and underpasses but along the 24 kilometer length of Edsa.  Why do you think motorist follow the traffic rules in Makati and Subic?  Because traffic rules are strictly enforced in those places.  Walang paki-pakiusap!  Huli kung huli!  Dapat ganun ang MMDA!  If only MMDA will strictly implement the traffic rules and fine those breaking them they'd become one of the most lucrative profit centers of the government.

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