How Can Manila’s Traffic Be Solved?

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.     Years in the making, Manila’s traffic is currently among one of the world’s worst (ranked 3rd).  The first step to solving this (where a lot of government people intentionally, or not, miss out on) is determining the primary cause of traffic.  Remedies have been proposed, but the root of the problem has not been addressed.

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.     One remedy is the number-coding scheme  where cars are prohibited on main roads for a certain day of the week.  Other countries find this idiotic, as can be seen on websites of “dumbest laws”.  After all, it defeats the cost of the car, as it cannot be used for 1/7th of its useable life.  Traffic would be worse without the number-coding, but it is not a proper solution.  Next lame-brained remedy would be to have 1 and a half days prohibited.

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.     Traffic has been claimed due to lack of discipline among motorists, jaywalkers, etc.  Traffic police such as the MMDA, and now the added Highway Patrol Group are another “discipline remedy”.  If you look from the top of a 40-storey building along Edsa, and gander at several kilometers of traffic, you cannot pinpoint the discipline offender at rush hour.  Even if an enforcer is added for each kilometer of traffic, they could not resolve traffic.  The everyday congestion people experience is not due to cars changing lanes abruptly, or making 7 lanes out of 6 lane Edsa highway.

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.     Road repairs are not even the main cause of traffic.  Even if all roads are fixed, the routine chaos still occurs.

.     The LRT and MRT are helpful mass transport systems that help ease traffic.  But these are not solutions in themselves.

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.     The root of the gridlock on the streets is the large, increasing number of Filipinos rushing into Manila.  The number of streets in Manila do not increase as much as the migrants from the provinces, and the child-production of city people.  For example, if today there are 10,000 people in a highway kilometer,  next year it will be 11,000 people for the same kilometer, and increasing steadily.

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.     Another example is the flower  festival in the city of Baguio.  The roads become packed since countless visitors swamp the area for several days. Just like the visit of the Pope, anytime crowds of people merge, it will be a standstill for vehicles. Many people in a small area, are like molecules cramping together to form a solid.

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.     It would be great if well paying jobs, can be made available for the provinces so people do not have to force themselves to the main city.  It could be great if we have some reasonable population control as a nation.  Having greatly developed cities outside of the metro manila area, e.g. Cebu, Davao, Pampanga, Lanao, etc, can help by de-populating the toxic manila. Not letting the politicians with business interests in Manila (bus line owners, realty owners, etc) to decide Manila traffic regulations is a constructive step forward.

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.     The slow movement of vehicles has already caused less sleeptime for citizens, added stress, opting for nearer but worse jobs,  unwanted late arrivals, kidney stones, and most of all, lost time.  Maybe until a certain level of discomfort has been reached, would it be decided to be done away with.  Hopefully, the country, especially the politicians, can make the correct action to cure our national clogged arteries.

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