Sim­ple traf­fic so­lu­tions in 78 hours (Part 3)

Watchmen Daily Journal - - Opinion -

Traf­fic mat­ters are not dif­fi­cult to re­solve. In a col­umn pub­lished last year, I men­tioned how for­mer Met­ro­pol­i­tan

Manila De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity

(MMDA) Chair­man Bayani

Fer­nando de­scribed Ba­colod

City roads as the “most per­fect grid” in the coun­try. On a visit to the city 12 years ago, how­ever, he ex­pressed shock see­ing fish ven­dors sell­ing their wares along

Luzuriaga Street, with var­i­ous odors de­tected when driv­ing by

– he shook his head and drove away.

Yet, de­spite the vi­a­bil­ity of man­ag­ing traf­fic is­sues in the city, be­tween March 2017 and to­day, there have been no im­prove­ments by the traf­fic au­thor­ity of­fice that have im­pressed lo­cal mo­torists. The of­fice rec­om­mended hir­ing nearly 400 traf­fic en­forcers, promis­ing a smooth traf­fic flow in the city – it never hap­pened. What the city got was men mod­el­ing red shirts, stand­ing around on street cor­ners, and blow­ing whis­tles like vol­ley­ball ref­er­ees.

Mo­torists grew even more dis­gusted when it turned out many of these en­forcers were pedi­cab op­er­a­tors with no proper driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. How does one en­force traf­fic laws when they don’t even know how to drive? Many mo­torists fought it out with ar­ro­gant en­forcers who car­ried “bar­ri­otic” at­ti­tudes.

To­day, the streets are the same as they have been for the past two years. Tri­cy­cle and pedi­cab op­er­a­tors re­main the kings of the road; four-wheeled ve­hi­cles get ap­pre­hended when driv­ing down the wrong way of a one way street, yet pedi­cab op­er­a­tors ap­pear to be ex­empt. How do mo­torists ex­pect good road man­age­ment when the head of city traf­fic can­not en­force the law? Jeep­neys con­tinue to stop at any point, bus driv­ers un­load wher­ever, and mo­torists merely have to switch on their haz­ards and they can idle any­where.

What is this talk of the city gov­ern­ment seek­ing as­sis­tance from the MMDA to pre­pare a mas­ter traf­fic plan? How would they be able to plan a study in 15 days? Bet this plan will just “go down the trail.”

In ad­di­tion, isn’t there some­body in city gov­ern­ment in charge of traf­fic? That’s their job. It’s em­bar­rass­ing hav­ing to so­licit help from the MMDA. Cebu City and Davao City are able to stand on their own – the MMDA is not the an­swer.

When the in­di­vid­ual trusted by the Ba­colod City gov­ern­ment to re­solve lo­cal­ity’s traf­fic woes was asked to come up with im­prove­ments, they said, “78 hours.”

This is the third part of a series. Please make sure to read the prior columns.

This col­umn greets Marik­ina City first district Rep. Bayani Fer­nando, Cebu City Mayor To­mas Os­meña, Iloilo City Mayor Jose Espinosa III, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Car­pio, Ba­colod City Mayor Eve­lio Leonar­dia, se­na­to­rial can­di­date Rafael Alu­nan III, Jane Javel­lana, Mini Javel­lana-Jimenez, Me­ga­world Cor­po­ra­tion Se­nior As­sis­tant Vice Pres­i­dent Harold Geron­imo, Ray­mond Dabao, Tal­isay City Mayor Neil Lizares III, and Si­lay City Mayor Mark Golez/WDJ

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