How about building ‘parking cities’? | Inquirer Opinion
Commentary

How about building ‘parking cities’?

02:39 AM September 07, 2016

Simply defined, traffic is the passage of passengers and cargos through a transportation system. When such system is poorly regulated and abused, traffic becomes heavy (read: horrendous, alarming). This can happen when an unlimited number of vehicles is allowed to “overflow.”

In Metro Manila alone, hundreds of cars are sold every day.  This means “progress,” if we are to believe the creative car dealers who, until now, are very successful in tugging at the negative heartstrings of Filipinos to “keep up with the Joneses” and make them “jump into the water” to own a “wheel,” even if they don’t really need one.

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Choose your wild: Progress, or a horrible mess of vehicles in transit every day that seems to defy solution?

Many a solution to this problem have been advanced. Perhaps we should simplify a critical situation with homespun logic.

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Metro Manila’s streets, planned and built many years ago (e.g., Edsa), cannot accommodate the growing number of vehicles; the situation is no different from a small container into which water is continually poured—it eventually overflows. As if it’s any consolation, we are not alone with this problem; many cities around the world suffer similar traffic woes. But should this mean we just have to continue living with ours?

Number coding, color coding and many other schemes have been tried with nary a success—or even just near-success. Traffic has only gone from heavy to worse. And due to corruption, the number of “colorum” buses keeps on increasing, exacerbating the situation. Arguably buses are not the only culprit; private vehicles are just as guilty; their number has increased by leaps and bounds, thanks to the “labo-labo” sale offered by Toyota, Mazda, Kia, Hyundai, Honda, Ford, Chevy, Mitsubishi, BMWs, Mercedes-Benz, not to mention locally assembled conveyances with rusty Japanese or Korean surplus engines.

Strong opposition came our way when we suggested in our radio program a “five-year moratorium on the sale of cars.”

We will not yield. We are advancing another proposal: the building of a “parking city” at each road entrance to the Metro. We envision these parking building complexes on two or more hectares of land, three floors down and three floors (or more) up, with sprawling exterior parking lots and other features to accommodate hundreds, nay, thousands of private vehicles for a moderate fee.

Car owners and their passengers will be ferried by shuttle buses to their destinations in Pasay, Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Quezon City and other Metro cities. Hours will be assigned for transport back to the different parking cities where their cars have been parked for the day.

These parking cities will host stores, restaurants and other business establishments that will employ hundreds of jobless Filipinos who will contribute to the economic welfare of the country. If 5,000 to 10,000 cars are kept from busy routes like Edsa every day, traffic in the Metro will ease up and travel will be more bearable.

Problems need solution and for every problem there is a solution. Do we have to forward this suggestion to President Duterte for approval? Do we need to give him emergency powers which could serve as precursors of stronger extralegal authorities?

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Prudence dictates that we save the President the burden of solving less important problems such as the daily heavy traffic; the Chief Executive has many more important problems on his plate. A less unfair imposition is to ask him to help finance the building of the one-of-a-kind parking cities which might help solve our “one-of-a-kind traffic jumble.”

Eddie Ilarde, a former councilor, congressman, assemblyman and senator, is now a freelance writer, independent radio-TV host/producer. He also heads the Maharlika Movement for National Transformation.

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TAGS: parking cities, solutions, traffic
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