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Some suggestions on how to address perennial problem of traffic congestion in Metro Manila

08:04 PM August 06, 2013

There seems to be no end to the road traffic problem in Metro Manila. The causes are:

1. An annual increase in the number of motor vehicles with no corresponding increase in roadway infrastructure.

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2. The concentration of road traffic along Edsa, C-5, Aurora Boulevard, Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard, E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon Avenue, CM Recto, Taft Avenue, Rizal Avenue and Katipunan.

3. The lack of coaches for the three elevated railway systems.

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4. The excessive number of passenger buses (with and without franchise).

5. The excessive number of other public utility vehicles, e.g., jeepneys, tricycles (motorized and pedal-driven), etc.

6. The increasing number of commercial vehicles, e.g., delivery vans of all sizes, medium-to-heavy vans and trailers.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Francis Tolentino very recently toyed with the idea of expanding the present unified vehicular volume reduction program or number coding system by banning vehicles from using Edsa for two days of every week, to improve traffic flow by as much as 40 percent. Meaning, vehicles with plate number ending in 1, 2, 3 ,4 will not be allowed on Edsa on Mondays; 3, 6, 7, 8 on Tuesdays; 9, 0, 1, 2 on Wednesdays; 3, 4, 5, 6 on Thursdays; 7, 8, 9, 0 on Fridays. It is suggested that this modified scheme be put on hold while simpler and better-studied plans are being implemented.

If we may suggest:

1. Conduct an honest-to-goodness survey on passenger bus and jeepney trips along the principal routes mentioned in item No. 2 cited earlier in this letter, from Sunday to Saturday. Among others, this study will reveal passenger occupancy.

2. Rush the construction of provincial bus terminals at the fringes of the metropolis and ban all provincial buses and their terminals inside the metropolis (along Edsa, Aurora Boulevard, Cubao, etc.).

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3. Fast-track the acquisition and deployment of additional coaches for all three existing elevated railway systems.

4. Drastically reduce the number of buses, based on survey findings. Excess jeepneys should be assigned to secondary roads and painted with a distinct color. Excess franchises should be terminated at the earliest possible period. “Colorum” buses must not be allowed to operate anywhere. Legitimate buses and jeepneys should be assigned specific, marked lanes.

5. Fast-track the Santolan-Masinag-Cogeo LRT line. At the Manila end, complete the line to Tutuban and extend it to Divisoria and North Harbor, Manila. Build a new LRT across Del Pan-Roxas Boulevard to Aguinaldo Boulevard in Las Piñas; and another one in Ortigas Avenue up to Ortigas Extension.

—APOLONIO G. RAMOS,

42 Mindanao St., Marikina City

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TAGS: letters, Metro Manila, traffic problem
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