‘No overnight solution’ to traffic, Lim tells impatient public
Even though the monsoon is exacerbating road congestion in the capital, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Danilo Lim said on Friday that the public should not pressure him on what the agency’s traffic solutions are, pointing out that he has only been “in office for a month” and that the traffic problem has existed for over two decades.
A visibly irked Lim told reporters on Friday that it is “unfair” to ask him how long should the public wait for the traffic problem to be addressed, noting that there’s “no overnight solution” to the perennial road congestion that is costing the country billions daily.
“There is no overnight solution to the traffic situation in this country,” Lim said. “But with forceful implementation, with discipline and the cooperation of everybody, somehow we can restore order in our streets and hopefully make life in Metro Manila more vibrant and liveable.”
Based on the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s estimate, the country was losing to traffic an estimated P2.4 billion daily.
When Lim assumed the chairmanship last month, he said that he does not have any “fancy” or “complicated scheme” to address the traffic problem, but only a “back to basic” approach that is geared toward restoring discipline in the streets. This approach, however, has yet to show its effectiveness, especially that commuters have observed that traffic, particularly along Edsa, has worsened over the last few days.
In comparison, Lim’s predecessor, MMDA general manager Tim Orbos, implemented in his first few days in office several traffic measures to address the traffic problem, such as the suspension of truck ban passes and an audit of the exemption to the number coding scheme released by the agency. He also expressed his openness to reverting to the odd-even traffic scheme.
Lim noted though that they are currently studying several traffic measures which may address the huge volume of vehicles plying metro streets. Based on the Land Transportation Office’s data, of the 9.25 million registered vehicles in the country, more than a quarter or 2.4 million cars are in Metro Manila.
Among the schemes Lim claimed they are looking into are the three-digit number coding scheme, as well as the odd-even scheme. He, however, did not give details as to when any of these schemes may be implemented.
“Huwag niyo ako inaano ng timeline. Hindi niyo ako pwedeng itali sa time. Hindi tayo time-bound,” Lim said.
He added that while road infrastructure projects, such as additional bridges and train systems, are underway, what the public can do is to cooperate with them by following traffic rules and regulations.
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