Winning the battle against traffic
So much has been written about the traffic crisis in and around the greater Manila area. Among them was letter-writer Amado Munda’s “Suggested solutions to transport woes” (Opinion, 10/27/17), which makes a lot of sense and which the government should have acted on a long time ago.
Sadly, unlike in more advanced countries, our public officials are mostly either inept, lazy or simply lack the brain and foresight to “see” the impending challenges of the future, which is why the Philippines is now beset with so many problems — problems that could have been avoided if only our government officials’ mindset had been more proactive than reactive to foreseeable changes brought about by an exploding population.
Regarding the traffic problem, sure, there are more vehicles on the roads than there are roads to accommodate them. But, maybe we should also think out of the box to see what else contribute greatly to the traffic problem.
During my seven-year stay in the Philippines, I was disappointed to see how enforcement of traffic rules is very much lacking, which is why drivers — especially those of public utility vehicles — behave recklessly on the road.
In most major roads such as Taft, Commonwealth, Quirino and Dr. A. Santos avenues, there are more U-turn slots than are necessary. Worse, most of these U-turn slots have no traffic lights resulting in more traffic tie-ups as the pile of turning vehicles make their daring touch-and-go movements from all directions.
Traffic enforcers? None! The few that were around were more preoccupied with rubbing their bulging bellies as they chatted among themselves on the side of the road unmindful of the chaotic traffic.
Then there are the bicycles, tricycles and even push carts that recklessly compete with motor vehicles for road space.
Sometimes, you also see them coming from the opposite direction of the traffic! Since they move much slower than motor vehicles, shouldn’t they be restricted from the main roads since they only contribute to the crowding and slowing down of traffic?
Also, shouldn’t city buses and passenger jeepneys be given designated stop areas — away from the moving traffic — where they can unload/load passengers instead of them stopping at every corner to unload and hunt for passengers while blocking other vehicles from using the lane?
And don’t forget those pedestrians who daringly stop moving vehicles any time they want to cross the busy roads by simply making a motion with their hands much like what Moses did when he crossed the Red Sea!
Yes, we have too many vehicles and not enough roads. But when all is said and done, if discipline and strict enforcement of traffic rules are enforced to the letter with absolutely and positively no exception to the rule, I think we would win half of the battle against the traffic mess.
JUANITO T. FUERTE, Jtfuerte@comcast.net
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