“The city is really suffering now from lack of mobility, not only in terms of mobility, it’s really the total absence of infrastructure,” said President Rodrigo Duterte. President Duterte has said that one of the aims of his administration is to fashion a “golden age of infrastructure” of which one of the end results would be alleviating traffic.
With the many inconveniences inherent to taking public transportation in the Philippines, many Filipinos are driven to purchase cars instead. However, the volume of private vehicles on the road is also being blamed for the worsening traffic condition. What is needed is a system that provides reliable, convenient, and budget-friendly transportation to the average Filipino.
Our existing road infrastructure isn’t built to accommodate the increasing number of vehicles on the road. But aside from that, there are a number of other factors that contribute to the painful traffic situation. Here are some factors that contribute to the country’s Carmageddon. Are you guilty of committing any?
Road and infrastructure constructions. Unfinished asphalt work, slow repair of drainage projects, parked excavators, these are just some of the way’s that road and infrastructure projects make traffic worse. The irony is, many of these projects are supposed to make things better. What happens is motorists need to drive slowly on one lane to get past these projects and it causes road bottlenecking. Notorious places for these incidents are the Ortigas Extension, the Marcos Highway for LRT 2 Extension project, and Commonwealth Avenue for the MRT 7 construction project.
No concern for the right of way. The rule is, vehicles approaching an intersection but not yet on the intersection must yield for the cars already at the intersection. Also, the one coming from the right has the right of way when approaching an intersection. However, many Filipinos do not follow these simple rules, which causes blocked and impassable intersections.
Not minding the pedestrians. The stripes on the ground mean that it is a priority zone for people. Cars should stop and slow down at crosswalks and give way to pedestrians. Mostly though, motorists don’t bother. Pedestrians aren’t often much better though. People cross the street recklessly wherever they feel like. They ignore crosswalks or cross when cars are given the Go signal, many times in blatant view of No Jay Walking signs. Reckless pedestrians disrupt traffic flow and are a danger to themselves and others. Use the footbridge people, for crying out loud!
Multi-tasking. Not only is using a mobile device while driving a traffic violation it also contributes to traffic. Drivers slow down thinking that driving slow will make their texting safer. It won’t, it just slows down and annoys the other vehicles around you. There are also the PUV drivers who count money and collect payments from passengers – and usually, they don’t even bother slowing down when multi-tasking. It is a driver’s duty to keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road to avoid disrupting traffic flow –and to keep themselves, their passengers, and those around them safe.
Counterflowing. Aside from PUV violators, common culprits also include drivers of tricycles, kuligligs, and pedicabs. Oh, and don’t forget the abusive drivers of private cars with special plates that give them immunity from traffic violations.
Chattering on the road. Drivers who saw a kumpare also on the road and roll down their windows to have a mini chitchat session. They don’t seem to care about the cars behind them as long as their exchange of messages happens.
Street vendors and push-carts. Yes, there are many times fishball and kikiam are life-savers on Petsa de Peligro. However, vendors moving their carts slowly around from place to place on major roads slow down other cars too. Meanwhile, vendors squatting on sidewalks force pedestrians to walk on the street instead, putting the pedestrians in danger and forcing drivers to drive slower.
Switching lanes. For obvious reasons, drivers will always look for ways to avoid being stuck in hellish road gridlock for long hours. Many drivers, therefore, want to take the other lane even if the difference in movement between the lanes is barely perceptible. Doing so can cause more delays collectively to the whole stretch of road.
Waiting. It’s a common crime of many drivers to press the hazard lights before halting the car on the side of the street to make a quick stop. If you are guilty of this, then you have blocked one lane and brought inconvenience to your fellow drivers.
Sources: The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Carmudi, When In Manila, The Philippine Star, Faq.Ph