Green Edsa Movement (GEM) on Monday urged the government to implement various measures, such as imposing congestion charge and widening of sidewalks, to solve persisting traffic congestion and improve the quality of life in Metro Manila.
In a news statement, the group said it is high time that the government implemented the “best practices” and “smart solutions” embodied in the National Transport Plant (NTP) of the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), which was approved by Duterte in 2017. The group said the NTP would sustainably solve traffic congestion, moderate air pollution and improve quality of life in Metro Manila.
The group pointed out that vehicle number coding and additional road spaces have “not yielded” the “expected benefits” as shown by the worsening traffic conditions in Edsa. The group added that it is high time that the government “shifts away” from “decades-old” traffic road management practices of Metro Manila traffic managers.
“NTP’s approach to traffic and road management is grounded on the reality that urban road space is a finite resource that must be utilized judiciously, and that private vehicles are the least efficient people mover,” it said.
“NTP prioritizes people mobility with a vehicle occupancy-oriented approach that extracts higher productivity from the road space to attain higher people throughput,” it added.
The group recommended the implementation of the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) for “free access” to EDSA during peak hours. Accordingly, the group added that the government must impose a congestion charge on vehicles with “lower than prescribed minimum occupancy” similar to the Electronic Road Pricing system in Singapore and London.
The group also proposed the widening of sidewalks by “allocating one full lane in each direction for active people mobility and greening with trees and landscaping.”
“Allot a second lane at busway stations for express buses to bypass local buses and speed up traffic flow of public buses,” it said.
“Complete the bike lane network in major and secondary roads. Build park-and-ride facilities at key entry points to the city core for motorists to park their vehicle and take public transport,” it added.
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