• AAP Opposes “odd-even scheme,” suggests other solutions

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    The Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) is urging the government not to revive the odd-even scheme for motor vehicles, saying that there are more effective ways to address the traffic crisis.

    AAP president Gus Lagman said that the government should instead focus on the public transportation system, the gross inadequacy of which has been decried as the root of daily traffic gridlocks in Metro Manila.

    “Before even thinking of curtailing further the motorists’ freedom to use their vehicles, the government must first of all and immediately improve the public transportation system,” Lagman said.

    The president of the national auto club contended that if public transportation services like the Light Rail Transit and Metro Rail Transit were repaired and upgraded to function efficiently, conveniently and safely, people would commute instead of driving their cars daily to work or school, meetings or appointments, and in the process save a lot of money, conserve fuel and reduce air pollution.

    Lagman claimed that the only real solution, although long-term, is the construction of an underground rapid mass transit system. Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, London, Paris and Moscow all have subways and so they don’t have to restrict the acquisition or use of private cars, he pointed out.

    He said that the “tube” was built under London in 1863, the New York City subway’s first line opened in 1904 and the entire system was completed in 1908. But here we are in 2015, more than a century later, and Metro Manila is still resorting to temporary, outdated schemes like the odd-even measure.

    AAP vice president Johnny Angeles agreed with Lagman and added that two reasons why traffic jams are getting worse in the metropolis are the lax enforcement of traffic regulations and the numerous diggings and debris on major thoroughfares and alternate routes.

    Angeles, the chairman of AAP’s advocacies committee, noted that too many diggings done at the same time and debris abandoned by utility companies and contractors delay traffic flow on roads. The government should rationalize the issuance of digging and road repair permits according to a viable timetable and require utility companies and builders to clear the road network of debris under pain of heavy fines, he said.

    Regarding the lax, selective and/or inefficient enforcement of traffic regulations in Metro Manila, the AAP veep suggested that Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) officers be fielded to instill law and order on the major thoroughfares, such as EDSA. The HPG is capable of disciplining wayward public utility vehicle drivers who swerve in and out of their designated lanes and stop anywhere, even in the middle of the road, to load and unload passengers.

    “We cannot just accept the alibi that massive traffic congestion is the price we have to pay for economic growth,” Lagman and Angeles jointly declared. “The government agencies concerned, such as the Metro Manila Development Authority, departments of Transportation and Communications, Public Works and Highways and Interior and Local Governments should coordinate and get their acts together instead of offering lame excuses.”

    A private, non-stock, non-profit auto club founded in 1931, AAP promotes road safety, motor sport, green mobility and the interests of the motoring public.

    The Automobile Association Philippines (AAP) is urging the government not to revive the odd-even scheme for motor vehicles, saying that there are more effective ways to address the traffic crisis.

    AAP president Gus Lagman said that the government should instead focus on the public transportation system, the gross inadequacy of which has been decried as the root of daily traffic gridlocks in Metro Manila.

    “Before even thinking of curtailing further the motorists’ freedom to use their vehicles, the government must first of all and immediately improve the public transportation system,” Lagman said.

    The president of the national auto club contended that if public transportation services like the Light Rail Transit and Metro Rail Transit were repaired and upgraded to function efficiently, conveniently and safely, people would commute instead of driving their cars daily to work or school, meetings or appointments, and in the process save a lot of money, conserve fuel and reduce air pollution.

    Lagman claimed that the only real solution, although long-term, is the construction of an underground rapid mass transit system. Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, London, Paris and Moscow all have subways and so they don’t have to restrict the acquisition or use of private cars, he pointed out.

    He said that the “tube” was built under London in 1863, the New York City subway’s first line opened in 1904 and the entire system was completed in 1908. But here we are in 2015, more than a century later, and Metro Manila is still resorting to temporary, outdated schemes like the odd-even measure.

    AAP vice president Johnny Angeles agreed with Lagman and added that two reasons why traffic jams are getting worse in the metropolis are the lax enforcement of traffic regulations and the numerous diggings and debris on major thoroughfares and alternate routes.

    Angeles, the chairman of AAP’s advocacies committee, noted that too many diggings done at the same time and debris abandoned by utility companies and contractors delay traffic flow on roads. The government should rationalize the issuance of digging and road repair permits according to a viable timetable and require utility companies and builders to clear the road network of debris under pain of heavy fines, he said.

    Regarding the lax, selective and/or inefficient enforcement of traffic regulations in Metro Manila, the AAP veep suggested that Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) officers be fielded to instill law and order on the major thoroughfares, such as EDSA. The HPG is capable of disciplining wayward public utility vehicle drivers who swerve in and out of their designated lanes and stop anywhere, even in the middle of the road, to load and unload passengers.

    “We cannot just accept the alibi that massive traffic congestion is the price we have to pay for economic growth,” Lagman and Angeles jointly declared. “The government agencies concerned, such as the Metro Manila Development Authority, departments of Transportation and Communications, Public Works and Highways and Interior and Local Governments should coordinate and get their acts together instead of offering lame excuses.”

    A private, non-stock, non-profit auto club founded in 1931, AAP promotes road safety, motor sport, green mobility and the interests of the motoring public.

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