During heavy rains, EDSA floods and stalls Traffic

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With the rainy season finally here, here’s an article from GMA News Correspondent, Brenda Barrientos – Vallarta worth reading …… this global warming is just getting worse as you can see other countries experiencing floods they’ve never had before …..

During heavy rain, EDSA floods at nine points where traffic stalls

With daily traffic of more than 300,000 vehicles, traffic crawls on EDSA on any given day. But during heavy rain on Monday, the 24-kilometer stretch and its tributaries were reduced to a virtual parking lot.

The sheer number of vehicles in Metro Manila’s most used thoroughfare, aggravated by flooding, slowed traffic to a halt. There are nine areas along EDSA where motorists could face flooding during a strong downpour.

Using data from MMDA, GMA News Research mapped these EDSA segments:

  • Three are in Quezon City
    • EDSA Balintawak
    • EDSA North Avenue
    • EDSA Aurora Boulevard
  • Two are in Mandaluyong City
    • EDSA Connecticut
    • EDSA Shaw Underpass
  • Two are in Makati City
    • EDSA Ayala Tunnel
    • EDSA Pasong Tamo Tunnel
  • Two are in Pasay City
    • EDSA Taft Avenue
    • EDSA Harrison


Five of these segments are near bus terminals or malls, or are major entry points to provinces north and south of Metro Manila where floods could affect travel to major points in Luzon.
Four in 10 public buses in the metro use EDSA. Thus, if traffic is slowed down, thousands of commuters are affected.

EDSA’s Taft Avenue segment in Pasay City, for one, is a known terminal hub. MMDA counts 19 provincial bus terminals in the area. There are three rail stations in the area—MRT Taft Station, EDSA-Taft LRT Station and Baclaran Station. EDSA Taft is also the “main entrance” of motorists from the south going to northern destinations like Quezon City or Caloocan City.

EDSA-Pasong Tamo in Makati City is a convergence point of vehicles along EDSA and those from the South Luzon Expressway. Just last week, heavy downpour brought chest-level floods in this area.

Meanwhile, EDSA-Balintawak in Quezon City is a major entry point of vehicles coming from the North Luzon Expressway. The area is also home to the Balintawak Market, a depot of vegetables coming from the Cordilleras and other provinces in northern Luzon.

During the monsoon rains in August 2012, this EDSA segment was flooded by knee-deep waters, which made the area not passable to light vehicles.

EDSA-Aurora Boulevard, also in Quezon City, is a major crossroad for vehicles coming from Manila and going to Cainta in Rizal province. It is also home to the Araneta Bus Terminal, one of the biggest transport hubs in Metro Manila.

Malls as traffic magnets

At least four malls—SM Cubao, Ali Mall, Gateway and Farmers Plaza—draw thousands of people, and congest surrounding streets. It is also the site of Araneta Coliseum, which is a venue for big concerts and basketball games.

An earlier GMA News Research study showed that 31 malls are located within 1 kilometer from EDSA.

Dr. Ricardo Sigua of the University of the Philippines National Center for Transportation Studies noted that these malls contribute to the traffic problem.

“Yan pa nga ang isang contributor sa trapik. Ang effect is sumisikip ang daloy ng trapik not only sa tapat ng malls kundi pati yung nasa paligid niya,” Sigua explained in a previous interview.

EDSA-North Avenue in Quezon City is a commercial hub with two big malls, SM North EDSA and Trinoma, drawing traffic in the area. Being the northern endpoint of MRT, the area has terminals of public vehicles going to Caloocan City, Bulacan and other northern destinations. Recent flood reports in EDSA-North Avenue showed that water level reach 6 to 8 inches.

MMDA data from 2010 showed that the EDSA stretch from West Avenue/North Avenue to Quezon Avenue had one of the biggest daily traffic volumes at 305,675 vehicles.

Rainy or not, the traffic volume in EDSA has reached its saturation point, said Dr. Sigua.  “Ang saturation point? Nandito na, may mga signs na naman e. Yang stop and go situation tuwing peak hours, those are signs. Patigi- tigil ang biyahe oryung 5 to 10 kph per hour. Ang normal at convenient travel speed kasi, mga 35 to 40 kph sana, he explains.” — RSJ/HS, GMA News