The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has begun replacing the concrete barriers along EDSA with steel bollards. The move is part of an effort to maximize the space allotted for buses and other vehicles that ply the busy thoroughfare. It is also hoped to further deter motorists from attempting to enter the exclusive bus lane.
According to the MMDA, around 6,000 bollards will be installed along EDSA, including its underpasses and flyovers.
Is it a safer replacement?
About a month ago, MotoPinas.com spoke with the EDSA boss himself, Col. Edison “Bong” Nebrija, on a couple of topics that involve the MMDA’s day-to-day activities. We asked the EDSA boss about the possible safety issues that might arise from the barriers, since the government has chosen the concrete barriers over other safer alternatives, like the plastic barriers that could be filled with water that’s widely used abroad.
“Totoo yan ano, actually significant nga yung number ng mga aksidente involving motorcycles. Syempre, hindi mo rin ma-ano yan, there are different factors din. Meron yung naka-inom; meron yung ina-antok na dahil sa sobrang pagod at marami pa. (That’s true. Actually, the number of accidents that involve motorcycles are quite significant. Of course, there are also other factors that we should take into account, like driving under the influence of liquor, or the rider could be tired and fell asleep.) So, there are different factors also and not just the barriers.”
The EDSA boss has also revealed that the agencies who decide what’s safe and what’s not on the road are the DOTr and the DPWH. The MMDA is just the implementing agency.
“DOTr [Department of Transportation] and also the DPWH [Department of Public Works and Highways], they’re the ones who evaluated the safety of these barriers,” added Nebrija in Filipino.
Just last month, the DOTr bought 36,000 pieces of concrete barriers with a cost of PhP4,300 each or PhP154,800,000 of taxpayer’s money.