Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte lauded the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for heeding her call to reopen U-turn slots along EDSA.

During the hearing of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia announced the reopening of two U-turn slots on EDSA as early as Friday. One will be in front of the Quezon City Academy and the second near Dario Bridge. This came upon the insistence of the Quezon City Mayor.

The QC Task Force on Transport and Traffic Management will manage the stop-and-go scheme for the U-turn slots, by allowing U-turning vehicles to cross the EDSA Bus Carousel busways in between passing carousel buses, which according to the city’s transport planners can usually last from one to two-and-a-half minutes between buses. The U-turn slot in front of QC Academy will be opened for light vehicles, while the U-turn slot near Dario Bridge will be open for emergency and marked government vehicles only.

“This is a win-win solution for motorists who have been experiencing heavy traffic along EDSA due to congestion caused by the U-turn closures, and along nearby roads due to the spillover of vehicles. Patients and visitors going to the Quezon City General Hospital will benefit the most, and we thank the MMDA for their favorable response,” Belmonte said.

Aside from managing the said U-turns, the city government will closely monitor the flow of traffic once these are reopened to determine whether it would request for the further reopening of other closed U-turn slots.

At the same time, Mayor Belmonte reiterated her support for the national government’s efforts to find solutions to the traffic problems in Metro Manila, such as the elevated busway plan. Quezon City is seriously studying the said plan, with the possibility of shouldering part of the construction of the elevated busway.

“The city government and the MMDA will continue to explore short and long-term solutions to the perennial traffic gridlock along EDSA. We are willing to help for as long as it will bring comfort to our constituents and ensure that their mobility is not hampered,” Belmonte added.

Belmonte earlier wrote the Department of Transportation (DOTr), MMDA and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) to request the reopening of two intersections to lessen the worsening traffic in those areas, and all the closed U-turns.

“We made the request in response to the numerous complaints we received from motorists. While we fully support the national government’s transportation initiatives, particularly the EDSA Bus Carousel project, we cannot compromise the welfare of those using EDSA. It is part of my agenda as Quezon City Mayor to listen to our citizens and know what they need,” explained Belmonte.