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December 28, 2018

MMDA's EDSA Road Diet Proposal is Against Road Standard Laws

Right after Christmas and the eating binge known as Noche Buena, the MMDA seems to be feeling its belt tighten a bit and has proposed a “road diet” to ease EDSA traffic.

A report published by ABS-CBN News says that MMDA General Manager Jojo Garcia is contemplating on reducing the width of EDSA from its current 3.4 meters to 2.8 meters citing a Japanese study. He says that this “road diet” scheme will enable EDSA to spawn an additional lane but will be assigned primarily to motorcycles and vehicles making a U-turn.

Here’s the thing: it goes against the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)’s own road safety standards.

Using the DPWH Road Safety Design Manual (a very informative guide for all government agencies, mind you), the minimal width for a lane is set at 3.35 meters. As the traffic volume increases, the extra width can be justified at up to 3.65 meters; in other words, the width actually increases.

Now, if the MMDA’s reason to add an additional lane on EDSA would be to make merging or U-turns easier, oh, there’s a standard for that too. A taper is required at the start of an “auxiliary lane”, the length of which is determined by the road’s designed speed limit. In the case of EDSA, it should be a 30-meter taper.

Having said that, the MMDA’s proposal to reduce the width of EDSA’s lane to 2.8 meters could have a positive effect on safety. Studies done says that urban roads less than 2.8 meters in width, but wider than 3.1 meters increases the risk for crashes.

Regardless, for as long as the DPWH standards exist, that must be followed. Sorry, MMDA, you better try again.

Source: ABS-CBN News


  1. We do need the extra lanes. An amendment is necessary

  2. More instances of crashes with Motorcycles that squeeze between lanes.

  3. Road diet is actually reducing the number of vehicle traffic lanes (from 5 to 4 or lesser) to accommodate other dedicated road facilities for safer travel of both pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Reducing lane width to increase the number of lanes is not road diet.

    I think since Filipino drivers make a wide 1 lane road into 2 or 3 during congestion, maybe the MMDA is just following the crowd and just adapting to the present condition in EDSA. However this solution is not effective and efficient since making the lane width narrower reduces average travel speed and increases the risk of accidents due to nearer vehicle side to side safe clearance.

  4. As long as city buses will stick into their lane and won't be wider than 2.6m. I think removing jeepney routes and provincial buses in EDSA should be done first as they are the ones blocking everyone else especially in the exit sections.


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