No need to go to Edsa to feel miserable over the daily heavy traffic in the country. Just within BF Homes, the stretch of President’s Avenue and Aguirre Street is enough to make your happy day gloomy. And no, I am not ranting but just narrating the status of the daily drive here. What could have only taken eight to ten minutes can apparently consume 30 to 45 minutes now.
Not right. So much effort and time wasted. Sometimes, I just hold the steering wheel in disbelief; shaking my head, trap to where I am. This is happening every day and to think I’m not yet at the main roads (Dr. A Santos/Sucat Avenue is another story).
To get a general picture of the current traffic scenario in the Philippines, here is a portion of an interview of Francis Tolentino, chairman of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), he said that Edsa at the moment is already operating way past its full capacity, explaining that on an almost daily basis, some 520,000 vehicles pass through it going both directions but this is way too much.
The 24-kilometer thoroughfare from Caloocan to Pasay was designed to only accommodate 320,000 moving vehicles going both directions daily. This means, said Tolentino, that a single vehicle stalling on the middle of the highway or a bus dawdling, waiting for passengers, can already have an enormous impact on the rest of the traffic, leading to massive delays. (Source: http://motioncars.inquirer.net/38156/when-you-have-to-avoid-edsa-like-the-plague)
Okay, that is the description of Edsa and yet a good representation of the Metro’s entire traffic scenario. The economy is improving and most people can now buy their own cars but our pathways are not prepared for the outpour of vehicles.
Perhaps BF area is no exception. No more rush hour here too, heavy traffic happens consistently from early morning to night.
Experiencing the gravity of road delay every single day, as a commuter/driver, I have listed my personal observations. I don’t claim to mention all the causes with precise measurement or to even sound scientific about it; this is just a plain thought from someone stuck inside the car for more than what’s right, feeling miserable but struggling to remain optimistic and hoping the problem will be solved real soon (by the local government and the community including all the drivers).
Given the perspective of a resident and usual driver, what’s the root of the chaos?
1. Cars lining at the gate requiring “With Stickers” upon entry when the drivers are well aware that they have none. Such attempt to sneak on the guards can actually cause delay for those with valid stickers.
2. The boom of so many establishments inside the village has added to the frustrating traffic situation. Thanks to those deliberately parking at a no-parking lane in front of the store that they are supposed to visit. There are also some inappropriate double-parking strategy, extremely slow u-turning, sudden dropping off of passengers without proper signal and halting at what “should be” a passing lane.
3. I appreciate their eagerness to assist on the road (many are truly helpful) but some traffic aides seem to add up to the burden of traffic than lessen it. Some would allow a continuous flow on one street despite the build-up while stopping the cars to move on the other side for long (imagine being at Elizalde corner President’s Avenue). They are times too that they pass a quick chat with car drivers they probably know, although there is nothing wrong to chat, but they are doing it in the middle of the street.
4. Cars on the right lane, for example, and they are not turning right (say, Elizalde corner Aguirre or Tirona corner Aguirre). Yes, some drivers will defend their action by saying that there is no actual sign to do otherwise but come on, have some courtesy!
5. Inexperienced street children attempting to be a parking aide or vendor street children blocking the way to sell their sampaguitas. I don’t understand why they are allowed to sell and beg inside the busy areas of the village. Should they be at home studying and not unsafely scattered on the streets of BF? (Hmm…)
6. Sudden stop of some tricycle drivers to drop/load passengers while almost in the middle of the road and others have the habit of inserting their trike in tight gaps.
7. Portions of the road with deeply uneven surface or random holes.
8. Neighboring subdivisions taking the shortcut route to BF Homes.
9. Vehicle drivers not giving way and blocking the street corners when ahead of them is not moving thus creating a pendulum road-block effect.
10. The notorious “Pinoy Driver Attitude” also applies and so we need to try harder to achieve discipline, exude more patience, remain courteous, stay calm. Filipinos are loving people by nature and we always have a smile despite hardships but sometimes I wonder what is with Filipinos and holding a steering wheel… why when a Pinoy driver casts his hand on it, he seems to be stripped by goodness and is suddenly possessed by negativity—not giving way, no respect, proper behavior omitted, even heartless, always mad on the road like any other driver is an enemy.
We can always get to our destination safe and happy, shouldn’t we start fixing our overall system right now?
All images courtesy of basketman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net