In early August, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) installed new traffic lights on the intersection of Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) and A. de Jesus Street in Caloocan City.
EDSA is a major thoroughfare and part of the Philippines' highway system. The highway has undergone various changes throughout the past few years in light of persistent problems with traffic. The installation of a new lighting system is seen to be a concrete step in solving Metro Manila's traffic woes. To avoid daily traffic, many motorists have resorted to taking alternative routes such as the Skyway, which charges a toll fee depending on vehicle class, point of origin, and destination.
The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has also resulted in traffic changes across the Philippines, with checkpoints being mandated in Metro Manila and neighboring regions. During the pandemic, public transport had been disrupted during various periods. In the absence of public utility vehicles (PUVs) and railway transport, many citizens have resorted to using cars and other vehicles to get where they need to go.
According to the MMDA, the new traffic lights will help ensure a smoother traffic flow and prevent accidents in the area. MMDA Chairman Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr. further stated that the presence of its new signal system will allow MMDA enforcers to be deployed in other congested areas of Metro Manila.
The EDSA-A. de Jesus intersection is an alternative route to Caloocan City Hall and Sgt. Rivera Street in Quezon City. It is reportedly the first left turn and U-turn slot in Metro Manila to get the new traffic light system.
As part of the MMDA's Intelligent Transport System (ITS) project, the new signalization method will be installed in other intersections across the capital region. The new system consists of full-LED lighting and integrates with current traffic control systems.