How to solve the traffic mess
In the event Congress gives President Duterte emergency powers to solve the traffic mess in urban centers, specifically Metro Manila, here are some measures I wish to suggest.
The country is said to be losing some P2 billion a day due to traffic gridlock. We don’t have to “invent” to solve the problem. Ingenuity is not necessary. The solution is so simple that within six months motorists, passengers and government officials will feel some relief. Six months. Yes, six months. This, even while public works and PPP (public-private partnership) projects are still to be started.
- Require all establishments (malls like SM, Robinsons, casinos, call centers, offices, factories, schools like UST, Mapua, FEU, San Beda and other big institutions) to provide shuttle buses for their executives and employees—e.g., one shuttle per 50 to 60 employees.
In the Clark Freeport Zone, for example, there are more than 70,000 workers, not to mention the thousands of visitors flocking to the place every day. All companies, hotels, factories, casinos and the like located in the area are required to provide shuttle vehicles. So, only a few jeepneys, and no bus companies, serve the place. The result: no traffic jam.
- Provide a minimum of two lanes for all buses and other transport vehicles, including shuttles. In cases where there are five lanes on both sides of a road, like Edsa, three lanes on each side should be exclusively dedicated to public transport; the other two, to private vehicles; and only those with at least two passengers should be allowed to ply the innermost lane.
- Get the “colorum” buses out of the roads, and sell these to small companies for use as shuttles.
- Stricter enforcement of traffic laws and regulations.
- Remove all smoke belchers, and penalize emission-test companies that issue clearances for vehicles that fail the test.
This is worth trying.
—MAX L. SANGIL, former director, Bases Conversion and Development Authority
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