Thursday, July 11, 2013

Resist new number coding scheme!

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority or MMDA proposes a modification of the number coding scheme or the vehicle reduction program. They have widen the restrictions, and basically what they want is for motorists to sacrifice two days off instead of just one day of restriction in road use. MMDA chairman Tolentino says this is a take-off from what Brazil did in Rio de Janeiro. The proposed scheme will reduce traffic volume by 40%, an estimate that is not entirely based on study in the Philippines.

Based on a NEDA study, we lose billions due to traffic. This is due to lost opportunities. Now, with this new scheme, businesses will lose at least two and a half days worth of potential income.

It's perfectly fine if we have a modern public transport system. However, in the condition we are in right now, it is impractical to implement such a scheme. This will penalize private motorists, especially entrepreneurs.

Let's face these facts:

1. Our roads especially national ones, are not as wide to accommodate the sheer volume of vehicles plying these routes every, single day. The solution is simply find a way to add at least one lane more at EDSA and implement reduction of vehicles.

2. The number of old vehicles using our roads have increased. Blame the low price now of a second hand car in the grey market. Since Filipinos can now own their own car with just a hundred thousand pesos, many now use their own cars. Estimates say about 4 to 5 million cars use metro roads every, single day. Traffic sources say at least 25% are second-hand cars some at least ten or more years old.

We should limit those who will use national roads and highways. It is recommended that those vehicles aged 10 years or more should not be allowed to use national highways.

3. EDSA is a very old avenue. It has been changed quite minimally over the years and it is tearing itself by the seams. An elevated highway is the answer. Either we construct it underground (two or four lanes) or thru an elevated ramp.

4. There was a suggestion before that we pave the way for the elimination of provincial buses off EDSA. This is being done right now.

5. Another suggestion is to put all city bus companies into one conglomerate. This will fully improve bus driving conduct.