The metropolis is now over capacity in both population and building structures that vehicular clogging is an obvious result of this congestion.
However, there are steps you can actually take to at least mitigate if not totally eradicate traffic jams in Metro Manila. The HPG has done one part of the job so it’s not like it can’t be done.
Besides, Los Angeles, Tokyo, Hong Kong and even London have existing studies that allowed them to address a formerly unruly traffic congestion situation. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, we simply have to pick up the book and review them. You know? Like going back to school?
But if you are too lazy to study, then let me give you the 3-E’s and D of traffic management that you can probably consider in your transcendental soul search for the cure of our traffic woes.
Here it goes Grasshopper:
1. Education – yes, we begin your lesson with education. It is the most basic in this allegedly civilized world of ours.
In order to follow the rules, we need to learn what they are. That means actually teaching every driver on the road what the rules are for driving.
The easiest part of learning to drive is operating the machine. It is like telling a child how to use a can opener. What we do wrong with driving is we forget to teach the child not to touch the sharp end. And there is where all our troubles begin.
In our culture, 95% of drivers learned to drive from their old family driver or the neighborhood jeepney driver. Guess what? They have no idea about the rules and courtesy of driving.
We need proper driving schools from institutions like America’s Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) or the Japanese National Police Agency Traffic Bureau (NPATB) who drill every driving rule into the brains of every applicant for a drivers license. No license is issued if they do not go through a stringent education from these agencies.
As for the rules and regulations and how to do them? I tell you pamphlets and books are scattered all over these offices for the taking. All you guys need to do is include a trip to these offices in one of your junkets and get the literature and replicate them here. No need to study them! They are created so Kindergarten kids can understand them. Question is, can you?
2. Enforcement – this is where the HPG showed how embarrassingly inutile the MMDA enforcers have become. MMDA enforcers wave like movie stars, HPG enforces traffic rules.
No, we don’t need to legislate new traffic rules. We simply have to enforce the existing ones. There is what is called the “Vienna Convention on Road Traffic” used quite successfully by the world’s most congested cities and if works for them, why do we have to create our own.
Anyone remember Subic and how everyone follows traffic rules there? They use the global standard of traffic laws and everyone follows them. Guess what their secret is? ENFORCEMENT!!!!
3. Engineering – yes, in a civilized world, there is an engineering solution to most structural problems.
More roads? Yes, but not the stupid way of putting one on top of the old one, this just takes the space of the lower level. Look at Taft, SLEX, C5 Elevated U Turn and more.
Find new places outside the old roads. Expatriate land if needed, you are the government, use your right of imminent domain. You got problems with real estate cost? Use their tax declarations as basis. Be creative, you guys are creative enough when it comes to our taxes.
Build more bridges! Did you ever realize that one of the main cause of our traffic jams is because Metro Manila is divided into North and South by the Pasig River? And how many bridges cross the Pasig River? Four! There, I can see some light shining in your thick skull.
Build better train and railway systems. I tell you I don’t mind taking the MRT or LRT or PNR if they were only presentable and efficient. And please, manage the deployment of the buses. In fact take over public transportation already.
4. Decongest – guys, Metro Manila is bursting at the seams and we can’t seem to stop building inside it. I just saw the new FTI complex sold to a real estate developer who will put more condominiums and malls and housing in an area where traffic never ends.
That place is right beside SLEX! A virtual parking lot at predictable times of day and a turtle track at other times. And you plan to put up another CBD right there! Was Makati, Ortigas, Cubao, Sta, a Rosa and Bonifacio Global City not enough lessons already?
Decentralize the government and send Manila migrants back home. I can’t seem to grasp the logic of selling a hectare of land in the Visayas or Isabela to become a squatter in Metro Manila.
Send the businesses outside Metro Manila. Build better airports and seaports outside Manila. Make people stay where they are by making them progressive there. I tell you traffic will eventually go there and not as bad as what we have here.
So there! I hope I did not bore you and I am sure you already know this. I am just repeating it for your, and our, benefit.
If you wish for more detailed information try Googling Hong Kong Study for Traffic Solution, Solving LA’s Carmagedon and the Tokyo Traffic Solution. I got these information there.