By Chito Chavez
Quezon City traffic experts have predicted a complete turnaround from a hassle-free travel on Good Friday to the normal chaotic traffic snarl especially at the entry points of Metro Manila on Easter Sunday (April 21) and on Monday (April 22) as the bulk of vacationers from the provinces start returning to Metro Manila.
As such, Mayor Herbert Bautista asked local traffic authorities, including the city’s Department of Public Order and Safety (DPOS), to initiate plans to ease the expected traffic gridlock along the exit and entry points to Metro Manila that are located in the city.
The entry points in Metro Manila are the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Coastal Road, Commonwealth Avenue, Mindanao Avenue and MacArthur Highway.
With the huge volume of motorists coming back to Metro Manila, horrendous traffic jams are expected in the Balintawak area on EDSA and in places near the bus terminals in Quezon City.
The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) said that traffic enforcers were already strategically posted near the entry/exit points leading to the city with millions expected to return to Metro Manila from their Holy Week break.
He added that other motorists coming from the north going to the eastern and southern parts of Metro Manila are advised to use Commonwealth Avenue to avoid the usually jampacked NLEX.
Councilor Victor Ferrer Jr. and Allan Benedict Reyes appealed to motorcycle riders to have only one companion riding with them to decrease the chances of road accidents.
He said that road mishaps involving motorcycles have steadily increased in the last six years due mainly to the drivers’ miscalculation, poor judgment and overloading of passengers.
In an incident on Holy Wednesday last year, Ferrer lent his service vehicle to a family of four when an infant and another child were sandwiched between the father and the mother onboard a motorcycle cruising along Congressional Avenue.
“It is a very hair-raising sight. Only the adult passengers were wearing crash helmets. What is worse is if that the protective gear looks sub-standard,’’ Ferrer said.
When confronted, the adult riders said that they were on their way to Antipolo City for the Lenten Season break and had no other recourse but to use a motorcycle borrowed from a relative.
The councilor’s service vehicle took the mother and children to their destination while the father onboard the motorcycle led the way going to their relatives’ place.