Mall operators in Metro Manila have agreed with the Inter-Agency Council for Traffic (I-ACT) to conduct sales only during weekends amid the expected increase in traffic volume during the Christmas rush.
In a meeting on Friday, October 7, 2016, I-ACT and the mall operators reached a consensus that there will be no weekday sales from October 21, 2016 to January 9, 2017. Mall sales will only be allowed from 12:01 AM Saturday to 11:59 PM Sunday to manage the influx of vehicles and shoppers.
The I-ACT is urging mall operators to submit their traffic management plans two weeks ahead of their planned sale.
Data from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) show that traffic speed along EDSA slows down to 5 kph whenever there is a sale in malls along the major thoroughfare.
Meanwhile, the I-ACT and the Metro Manila Council (MMC) have agreed to come up with a resolution that will remove window hours for private vehicles traversing EDSA and C5 under the number coding scheme starting October 31, 2016 to January 31, 2017.
Window hours refer to the five-hour period from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM when motorists covered by the scheme on a specific day can still pass without being apprehended. Under the current number coding scheme, private and public utility vehicles are banned from using Metro Manila roads on weekdays from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM depending on their plate number.
MMDA general manager Thomas Orbos said the removal of the window hours will reduce the number of cars traveling along EDSA and C-5 by 20 percent and shorten travel time by five minutes.
To formulate specific guidelines on its implementation, Orbos is scheduled to have a meeting on Monday, October 9, 2016, with the Department of Transportation and city mayors in Metro Manila that will be affected by the change. (PNA)