Reuters

The Philippines capital turns roads into temporary highways to ease shopping-related congestion

Just like in the U.S., the holidays are high season for shopping in the Philippines. The streets of Manila jam up with consumers crawling their way to malls and shopping centers. Traffic has become such a problem that officials have created a citywide solution: temporarily removing street parking, stop signs and traffic signals on roads leading to major shopping destinations.

Known as “Christmas Lanes,” this network of roads-turned-highways launched last December on 12 streets, covering 157 kilometers. The streamlined sections of roads create one-way feeder routes that are intended to ease traffic congestion as shoppers flood into the city toward shopping centers. This holiday season, the city has expanded its Christmas Lanes to cover 45 streets and more than 200 kilometers.

These temporary highways are intended to serve as alternate routes, diverting traffic away from the city’s main thoroughfares. And the scheme seems to be working, the Manila Sun Star reports. A December 2010 study of traffic on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, one of the city’s main arteries, showed that average traffic speeds increased by about 14 percent – from 27.98 km/h to 32.07 km/h – after the implementation of alternate routes.

Devised by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the traffic management scheme creates a temporary network of inner-city highways leading directly to shopping destinations. This set of detailed maps shows which roads have been converted and, in the spirit of the season, even offers directions to the city’s most popular shopping malls.

Top image: A traffic controller wearing a Santa Claus costume dances as he directs motorists along an intersection in Pasay City in Metro Manila. Reuters/Cheryl Ravelo

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Design

    How 'Maintainers,' Not 'Innovators,' Make the World Turn

    We need more stories about the labor that sustains society, a group of scholars say.

  2. A man walks by an abandoned home in Youngstown, Ohio
    Life

    How Some Shrinking Cities Are Still Prospering

    A study finds that some shrinking cities are prosperous areas with smaller, more-educated populations. But they also have greater levels of income inequality.

  3. a photo of yellow vest protesters in Paris, France.
    Equity

    To Understand American Political Anger, Look to ‘Peripheral France’

    French geographer Christophe Guilluy has a controversial diagnosis of working-class resentment in the age of Trump, Brexit, and the Yellow Vests.

  4. A map of apartment searches in the U.S.
    Maps

    Where America’s Renters Want to Move Next

    A new report that tracks apartment searches between U.S. cities reveals the moving aspirations of a certain set of renters.

  5. A house with a for sale sign.
    Perspective

    Why Are Zoning Laws Defining What Constitutes a Family?

    It’s wrong to exclude safe uses of housing because of who belongs to a household. Like family law, zoning ordinances should prioritize functional families.

×