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Much less costly traffic solution than putting up new infrastructure

/ 01:14 AM September 16, 2016

The government keeps saying, more infrastructure worth billions of pesos is needed to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

To borrow words from President Duterte: “P—– I– kayo! Puro gastos at pangungurakot lang ang iniisip ninyo (Sons of b——! All you have in mind is spend and steal)!”

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Definitely costing much less than building new infrastructure (with budget allocations running into billions of pesos that are just waiting to be stolen by corrupt public officials) is the simple solution of “enforcing honest-to-goodness discipline” among jeepney and bus drivers (who defy traffic rules and regulations all the time). Come to think of it, we already have regularly salaried traffic enforcers, so it should not cost government a single centavo more to execute the latter option.

Everybody knows jeepney drivers stop their vehicles in the middle of roads or block intersections (especially on Edsa) to pick up or unload passengers under signs that read “No loading or unloading” or words to that effect; and counterflowing at will, etc., etc. For their part, buses “double park” (even triple park where possible) thus, blocking traffic flow, etc., etc. as they compete for passengers. And by the way, aren’t bus drivers and conductors already paid fixed salaries, as ordained by law, to keep them from driving like crazy?

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Because private motorists see jeepney and bus drivers generally getting away with wanton recklessness every day, they have no choice but do the same unless they want to spend the rest of their day on the road. It is simply so exasperating to observe how jeepneys hurtle past law-abiding private cars that are stuck at the end of the line as traffic enforcers just look the other way.

What we are saying is simply this: Get those jeepney and bus drivers to toe the line and private motorists will follow suit. Government enforcers will soon have a mutiny on their hands if they keep apprehending only private motorists while ignoring traffic violations more blatantly committed by jeepney and bus drivers.

For the love of God, why is it so difficult for government to discipline the lawbreakers who continually make travel hereabouts unbearable? Our Department of Transportation now thinks building cable cars in the sky might be more doable despite the absence of mountains.  Duh!!!

Letter-writer Marites dela Merced was right in asking President Duterte “kung pwede na rin ba naming pagbabarilin itong mga pasaway na jeepney (and bus) drivers…?” (“Wishful thinking about law enforcers,” Opinion, 7/26/16). The way we see it, we might just as well include the traffic enforcers who are doing nothing but continually waving their hands. Malayo ang tingin wala namang tinatanaw. We’re only wasting taxpayer money that we spend for their salaries.

—ROSE ANNE BARTOLOME, [email protected]

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TAGS: discipline, infrastructure, traffic
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