A few days ago, four Philippine Air Force (PAF) personnel figured in an accident after their vehicle slammed into the concrete barrier along the EDSA tunnel in P. Tuazon in Quezon City. Three succumbed to their injuries. The lone survivor, who was driving the vehicle, was found to have been intoxicated after he was subjected to a breathalyzer test.

This, along with the 437 (and counting) accidents involving concrete barriers in EDSA has prompted the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) to study the possibility of replacing these concrete separators with safer materials like plastic bollards.

MMDA eyes replacing concrete barriers with bollards image

During a briefing yesterday, February 21, 2022, MMDA Officer-in-Charge, General Manager, Romando Artes, has said that aside from putting bollards in lieu of concrete barriers, the agency also wants to put up more safety signs along EDSA.

“We are studying the possibility of using bollards instead of concrete barriers and to increase [the number of] safety signs,” said Artes in Filipino.

How about plastic barriers?

Different countries outside the Philippines use plastic barriers filled with water instead of concrete barriers. When a vehicle crashes on those plastic barriers, the water, and the barriers gradually slows down the vehicle as opposed to putting it to a dead stop. This way, injury and property damage are minimized.

When asked if the MMDA plans to use these plastic barriers, Artes simply said that these plastics are not efficient in doing the job of a concrete barrier and might just float away. “It’s the same when there’s water. It floats and it easily gets pushed when someone tries to enter the lane. It defeats the purpose of exclusivity of the bus lanes.” Artes.

While there is no doubt that these concrete barriers are road hazards, both to motorcyclists and closed vehicles alike, a big chunk of concrete barrier-related accidents involves drivers or riders that are distracted, have fallen asleep, and worse, were driving intoxicated.

If Filipino motorists are disciplined, do you think that concrete barriers separating the EDSA busway are even necessary?