Society & Culture

Ordinary Filipinos offer a wealth of ideas on how to solve Manila’s traffic disaster

I posted ‪some ideas to solve the traffic gridlock on Facebook and I am heartened by the outpouring of more ideas sent through by commenters. The following is the initial list I posted:

‪1. Limit or ban privately-owned buses.‬ They should be government-operated.
‪2. Get rid of the jeepneys.‬
‪3. Open the gated communities for access to motorists.‬
‪4. Limit selling of new cars.‬
‪5. Limit use of old cars.
‪6. Expand the rail system.‬
‪7. Use river ferries for transport.‬
8. Curb population growth.

Numbers 1 through 3 will have an immediate effect on traffic flow. The sheer volume and inefficiency of public transport systems based on boundary-driven buses and jeepneys and the choking effects big residential zones closed for private use have long been known to be the biggest causes of traffic gridlock.

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Many commenters agreed with these suggestions and contributed their own.

Here’s one particularly detailed one…

Build more bridges along Pasig River, para hindi lang Edsa ang daan, e.g. Hulo, Circuit Makati, West Rembo, Nagpayong, Pinagbuhatan, Bambang.

Expand 10meters width on Edsa near Buendia, sakupin ang North Forbes park area. Jan lagi ang traffic kasi galing sa 4 lane, magiging 3 to 2 lane.

Lagyan ng Oras ng Bus servives, per station, napakaraming Bus na kalahati lang laman..

This one is a good synthesis of several ideas:

9. Clean up, and encourage the use of the numerous, alternate roadways.

As for #2 on the list. An analyst group, about a decade ago, concluded (at that time) if the jeepneys alone, were removed? You’d eliminate nearly 50% of the vehicles on the NCR roadways.

It seems too that there are gains to be found in applying a more scientific approach to routing traffic and public utility vehicles as this commenter suggests…

Hire/Consult mathematicians who specialize in graph theory to solve transportation problem.

Ultimately, the solution lies in improving public transport facilities and discouraging the use of private vehicles. This involves a big culture change and, specially, instilling of discipline and an ethic of community in every Filipino.

The conversation must go on…

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