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Again, how to unclog MM roads

/ 12:16 AM September 16, 2015

Don’t blame the increasing number of vehicles. It’s the incompetence of the officials who are responsible for the widespread, monstrous traffic conditions (downpour or no downpour) that drain the human spirit, pummel the economy and impede progress.

Government should give the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, the Department of Public Works and Highways and the Philippine National Police two months to unclog the streets of Metro Manila or the public will see a top-to-bottom overhaul of management in these agencies.

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MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino would do well to set aside his political ambitions for a while and take off his shades to see the gravity of the problem. He has done a lot of good things as an appointed official, but solving traffic problem is not one of them. As a matter of fact, traffic got worse under his watch.

Traffic is beyond heavy and bad nowadays, and it’s becoming unbearable. Stuck in a traffic woe as I write this piece, here are my observations—with unsolicited recommendations:

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  1. Stop or suspend government infrastructure projects like the LRT Line 2 extension until traffic becomes conducive to such “strangeness.” The project is not so necessary except probably for some shady pockets. SM Masinag will benefit tremendously from this, via access passage to the mall from the last of the two stations to be added as planned.
  2. Make a careful study of the reopened intersections to determine which ones are really helpful and which among them only aggravate traffic situations (e.g., those along Libis at the corners of Eastwood Avenue, Green Meadows and Lanuza Street).
  3. Hire traffic enforcers with qualifications that correspond to their task. Train them well on how to direct traffic effectively and to untangle knots of congesting vehicles. Or else, they will serve no more than tourist decorations; worse, they themselves may cause road clogs and standstills.
  4. Close unnecessary U-turn and left-turn slots that were opened just to accommodate the whims of giant malls and exclusive subdivisions.
  5. Ban new commercial malls and big supermarkets in locations where good traffic flow will be jeopardized.
  6. Investigate local or national officials whose road and public works projects take eternity to finish.
  7. Never allow road repairs and diggings where there is nothing to repair or dig, or any “priority” projects by politicians whose obvious motive is kickback and “epal” advertisement.
  8. Be prompt in responding to vehicular accidents and be quick to resolve the issue to be able to remove the obstructing vehicles in the quickest way possible.
  9. Clear busy streets of illegally parked vehicles and vendors.
  10. Don’t allow jeepneys, buses and other public utility vehicles to pick up passengers at main road corners. There must be better areas for PUVs to load and unload passengers, where commuters and motorists alike will not be inconvenienced. It would only take some exertion of the brain muscles by the concerned officials to see where these are.

—RENI M. VALENZUELA, [email protected]

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TAGS: Department of Public Works and Highways, DPWH, Francis Tolentino, Metro Manila, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, MMDA, Philippine National Police, PNP, traffic, traffic solutions
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