Solon says piecemeal approach won’t solve Metro Manila’s traffic woes
MANILA, Philippines–A piecemeal approach to solving Metro Manila’s traffic woes will only bring temporary relief, the vice chair of the House committee on transportation said.
“Banning certain types of vehicles or regulating traffic on specific roads gives us temporary relief,” said Rep. Florida “Rida” Robes.
The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) seeks to ban provincial buses on Edsa, the National Capital Region’s main thoroughfare passing through six cities. It was stopped by the court. The MMDA also once proposed to prohibit vehicles with only the driver on board to pass through Edsa but the traffic scheme’s effectiveness was questioned by lawmakers.
“Any potential solution presented should have a holistic perspective,” she said, adding that long-term measures are necessary.
“We have to consider all other factors involved. For instance, if we say that private cars should be banned so people will be forced to use PUVs, then we have to make sure that those options won’t be torture for them. You can’t solve one problem by creating more problems for others,” said the San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan congresswoman.
Robes said Metro Manila’s “mass transportation woes deserve added attention.”
“As the capital region, it sets the bar for the rest of the country. All eyes are on NCR,” Robes said. “Of course, we should also look at the best practices of other highly urbanized locales in the country to try and alleviate Metro Manila’s traffic and road infrastructure issues.”
Home to some 13 million, Metro Manila has nearly one vehicle registered per person. The resulting gridlock costs the city $67 million daily in lost productivity, according to a 2017 Japanese government-funded study.
At peak hours, the main arteries of the metropolis are clogged with idling cars a 25 kilometer end to end drive through the main highway can take as long as three hours.
Navigation app Waze data released in September showed that Metro Manila was the worst place for driving in the world.
With Agence France-Presse
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