THE three-day dry run of the “no window hours” policy for the number coding scheme on Metro Manila roads started yesterday.
Noemi Recio, executive director of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s Traffic Discipline Office, said the scrapping of window hours is expected to lead to the reduction of the number of vehicles passing through EDSA and C-5 by at least 18 to 20 percent, or about 1,000 private vehicles.
Recio said motorists who will be apprehended for violation of the new policy during the dry run period, will not be issued citation tickets but instead will be reminded of the junking of the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. window hours.
This means that private vehicles covered by the day’s number coding in the old scheme, will no longer enjoy the so-called window hours and instead are banned to traverse the designated roads from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. including Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (Edsa), C-5, Roxas Boulevard, Alabang-Zapote Road and all roads in the cities of Mandaluyong, Makati and Las Piñas which have been identified as the most traffic-troubled streets of Metro Manila.
Recio said traffic violation tickets will be issued to erring motorists starting October 17 until January 31 next year, the schedule of the full implementation of the policy.
After January 31, the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic shall evaluate the “no window hours” policy and will determine if it has created a positive impact on traffic congestion in the metropolis.
Recio said should the new scheme be effective, the Metro Manila Council may consider extending it or making it permanent.
More or less 200 motorists were flagged down by the MMDA traffic constables at the start of the three-day dry run of “no window hours” traffic scheme yesterday along the stretch of EDSA and Ortigas.
MMDA Public Information Officer Acting Director Sharon Gentalian in a text message said that violators were not given a traffic citation ticket but only reminded of the strict implementation that will start October 17.
Earlier, MMDA General Manager Thomas Orbos said the removal of the window hours of 10 a.m. up to 3 p.m. is meant to east traffic congestion during the Christmas season. This means that all vehicles covered by the number coding scheme are prohibited to travel along the stretch of EDSA and other main streets from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
With Edd Reyes