Tuesday, September 8, 2015

EDSA traffic eases yesterday---at least

Traffic flow at EDSA somewhat eased a little bit when government managed to turn away vendors occupying at least a lane of the highway at Balintawak. The congestion then slowly developed as one approaches Cubao and it eased in a way as you go near Camp Crame and then it again developed into a snarl at Ortigas which repeats itself before one reaches Guadalupe. Same thing happens when one reaches Magallanes up to Taft Avenue in Pasay City.

Travel time improved a little bit for three (3) reasons: one, city buses without franchises did not operate yesterday out of fear; two, ambulant vendors occupying one side of the road were asked to leave and third, volume of vehicles was not as heavy as other days, probably due to a perception by some that HPG or Highway Patrol Group cops are dead serious in enforcing traffic rules.

Let's admit that unless we build skyways at EDSA AND compliment it with an improved public transport system, we will never ever solve the humongous problem there. The reason is obvious--vehicle capacity at EDSA has reached its max already. The long-term solution is really a Skyway. But of course, the use of such should be toll-free. Motorists should not be penalized for this. It is but the duty of government to solve this problem, which, according to the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), drains the economy more than 2.2 billion pesos every single day.

Another possible solution is the decrease in numbers of private vehicles. Eighty percent of those using EDSA are private vehicles. Now, if we improve our public transport system to such a level as it is more convenient and cost-effective to use them rather than use private cars, then, this would be a most viable choice.