‘Plan your travel early’

    MALOLOS CITY—The Traffic Management Corporation (TMC) braces for 10 to 15 percent increase in traffic volume along the 87-kilometer North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) starting today (Friday) in preparation for the observance of All Saints’ Day.

    However, they are also hoping that newly opened Mindanao Avenue Link from Quezon City will help ease traffic volume on their Balintawak Interchange.

    Benigno Valles, senior manager for corporate communications of the TMC that manages the NLEX, said they expect a 10 to 15 percent increase in traffic as more people will head to northern provinces of Luzon.

    That is equivalent to 15,000 to 20,000 additional vehicles using the NLEX with an average daily traffic volume of about 156,000.

    “We will have a long week end which will be highlighted by the observance of All Saints Day on Monday and more people are expected to use the NLEX as they go home,” Valles said.

    Valles said that to help ease traffic at Balintawak interchange, they will field ambulant tellers who will hand out toll tickets.

    “In the past, umaabot hanggang SM North Edsa ang haba ng traffic sa Balintawak Interchange, but last year, more motorists decided to get hourly updates through radios and Twitter and they were able to plan their trip, kaya hindi masyadong nagtraffic,” Valles said.

    With 17 toll booths, he said that Balintawak interchange is capable of handling at least 4,500 vehicles transactions every hour, and it will dramatically increase starting today if motorists will plan their travel.

    However, aside from ambulant tellers and hourly update on traffic situation at Balintawak and the whole NLEX stretch, the TMC said they are hoping that newly opened Mindanao Avenue Link will help ease traffic.

    Nicolas Manalo, TMC vice president for traffic operations said that the Mindanao Avenue Link has a total average daily traffic volume of 19,000 since it opened last June.

    He said that traffic volume along the Mindanao Avenue Link is also expected to increase by 10 to 15 percent.

    “We will make sure that our service will be proportionate to the number of motorists using the NLEX,” Manalo said.

    This includes deployment of additional patrol vehicles, and ambulances.

    Manalo noted that road works along the NLEX will be suspended starting today to give way to increase traffic.

    However, maintenance works along the expressway where safety repairs are required will continue.

    For her part, Ella Francisco, TMC assistant manager for toll collection, said traffic volume will further increase on Saturday and Sunday.

    She said that starting Monday, they have anticipated increase of southbound traffic volume as people will go back to work on Tuesday.

    The TMC said that same level of service can be anticipated along the 94-kiolometer Subic Clark Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX).

    Traffic buildup on the SCTEX is expected at the Tipo Exit in Zambales and Tarlac Exit starting today.

    Traffic build up at the SCTEX is expected this Monday at that Mabalacat Interchange that connects with the NLEX.

    TMC advises motorists to get regular updates on traffic situation on the radio, Facebook, and Twitter accounts to plan their travel. 


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