IN an effort to ease the traffic situation in the metropolis that is bound to grow worse during the Yuletide season, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has announced a temporary ban on marathons and fun runs from December 16.
MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said the ban on fun runs, which will be in effect up to January 6, was made to alleviate traffic congestion, particularly at the onset of holiday-related activities such as the Simbang Gabi, street markets, parties and shopping.
Starting December 13, the MMDA will also implement a moratorium “on all excavations or diggings in all national and city roads until midnight of January 6, 2014” to reduce the number of bottlenecks for vehicles.
According to the MMDA chief, they are expecting “a 20 percent increase in the traffic volume this Christmas season due to the influx of people and vehicles from Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan, and Central Luzon.”
Running coach Zaldy Santillan said the ban will probably cover only the major roads that fall under MMDA jurisdiction and won't include some of the most popular running venues in Metro Manila.
“I don’t think covered nito ang Bonifacio Global City, Mall of Asia or Makati roads unless nag-concur din ang respective local authorities, especially Makati kasi hindi under MMDA ang road regulations nito except Edsa,” he explained.
Santillan, who conducts running clinics in the Ayala Triangle, said he agrees with the ban.
“I’m in favor with the proposal. It's not practical for organizers to do big races using major roads on the said inclusive dates,” he said, explaining that since most runners are outside the metro area or already in Yuletide mode they would be less inclined to join organized races anyway.
“Bihira na sa kanila ang sumasali pa sa mga races (during the holidays). So baka malugi lang ang organizers”, said the coach of the Ayala Triads.