To bring up, the word “traffic” should not be defined as the heavy volume of vehicles. Call it “traffic jam” instead because traffic is the lineup of vehicles, not the heaviness. So, after we previously pointed out a scenario, let us discuss why heavy traffic is a growing epidemic in our country.
- Motorist Discipline
Jeepney drivers think they are “kings of the road”. So does other motorists. For motorists for private vehicles, they just simply go to their designation, no matter the volume of the traffic. For motorists for public vehicles, they have multiple things in their mind: how much can they pay for gas, how much they owe the barkers and how many passengers can they still fit in their vehicle. Those behaviors clash on the road. And sometimes, as a result, they simply disregard discipline. The unahan mindset gets in the way. And motorist’s manners are in fruition. Case in point: feeds from Top Gear Philippines.
Now we don’t want this to discipline to get the best of the drivers.
- Pedestrian Discipline
As the other users of the road, pedestrians should have the same set of discipline as drivers do. They would always tend to delay traffic volume with crossing the road and even filling up roads.
Pedestrians should be aware where their proper designated areas are. Or else they would end up like jaywalkers. As what MMDA would always remind, “Walang Tawiran Nakamamatay”.
- Passenger Discipline
Like pedestrians, passengers also contribute to the traffic volume. How? Well, think about where passengers stand by for jeep, bus or tricycle. And think about the instance that these vehicles gather together. There.
A perfect opportunity vehicle buildup is for street vendors in any variety (selling water, candy, cigarettes, puppy bobbleheads and back scratchers?) to pile up and sell to potential customers on the road. It is not like that drivers or passengers have to focus on the road.
- Road Construction/Repairs
Now, this is the one excusable but still insufferable for motorists and commuters. DPWH makes occasional but sudden road projects. They usually range from altering the cement to replacing damaged parts of the road. As a result, the roadways get narrowed and bottleneck traffic flows become imminent.
- Unfixed Authority
This is recognizable in intersections. In a typical Metro intersection, there is a traffic enforcer that controls the traffic flow. However, there is already a traffic light with a countdown meter to dictate the traffic flow. As a result, motorists get confused to what to follow. And the enforcer has to carry the weights of the traffic. This is something that can be solved easily; but with the growing urban traffic, this is something crucial.
- Not Much Road Regulation
More like a diversion to Reason #1, one of the reasons why traffic existed is the lack of awareness of road regulation. Examples could be not complying with the speed limit, U-turning in a no U-turn zone and having two directions in a one way zone. This can attributed to the lack of road signs or road regulation education. LTO has given enough regulations. But in the end, it is in the very hands of a motorist to be responsible on the road.
- Road Capacity
Here is a controversial one. Wanna know why EDSA is always overloaded? It is the only major roadway connecting six major cities in Metro Manila (Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Quezon City and Caloocan). So apparently, workers, students and other casual commuters travel to locations that can be passed via EDSA. Yeah, it is like the notorious highway can handle millions of commuters a day; and that is just for rush hour.
- Poor Urban Planning
And this is the reason to be clear on EDSA’s epidemic. The freeway’s vicinity is home to one of the country’s most known shopping malls, making it endurance in the holidays. EDSA also connects two business districts: Makati CBD and Ortigas Center, and gives access to Bonifacio Global City. So clearly, workers will have to flock through the freeway to get to their job sites. And people fresh from Sunday church would fill every void along EDSA’s shopping centers. Pretty much this leads up to unforeseen effects in the mode of transportation.
And finally, here is one apparent but one ignored. We have reached to a point where the 100 millionth Filipino was born. Population will continue to increase. And seeing from our current standpoint, it will take a long period to return to the seamless traffic flow.
Other reasons fall to the uncontrollable variables like heavy rains, transport strikes and other disasters.
Now I am not here to point fingers on who to blame for traffic congestion. It is in our hands to how we use the paved roads. Everyone is accountable to how traffic flows.