Gridlocks are no longer confined to Metro Manila since most major cities are also hounded by traffic woes, the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) said on Friday.
The group, through its Transportation and Infrastructure Committee headed by Eduardo Yap, added that the problem of congested roads is now felt in cities in the provinces.
“We are seeing traffic congestion in just about everywhere, even in Cebu, Tarlac,
Pangasinan, Baguio, Davao and Zamboanga. Let’s nip this in the bud as early as now.” Yap said.
The MAP welcomed the appointment by President Benigno Aquino 3rd of Secretary of the Cabinet Rene Almendras as his point man in handling traffic problems as well as his order directing the Highway Patrol Group (HPG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to take charge of traffic enforcement to declog six major chokepoints along EDSA.
These measures were among the recommendations of the MAP and their adoption is an indication that government is receptive to suggestions from the private sector, Yap said.
The group said these steps are part of a holistic plan to aggressively address traffic problems.
“Without a comprehensive traffic management plan, traffic woes will still haunt us even after two or three years from now and we cannot be made to suffer for that long. Let’s unite, and solve this traffic congestion problem ASAP,” Yap said.
The MAP believes that these measures to manage and solve traffic management problems of Metro Manila must also reach other cities throughout the archipelago where signs of traffic congestion have appeared and begging for solutions as well.
The group vowed to be proactive and to help government alleviate the crippling traffic congestion in Metro Manila that costs the economy about P2.4 billion per day.
Although Almendras has been assigned to take charge of the traffic management in EDSA, MAP said the President should appoint a traffic czar.
“We need a traffic czar not just to serve as a coordinator of different agencies working together to ease traffic flow, but one who is empowered to exercise executive powers to mobilize resources of the different national government agencies in order to expeditiously and effectively implement measures to provide the earliest relief from traffic congestion gripping the capital city [Manila],” Yap said.
In addition, the group proposed the installation of concrete lane delineators at all bus stops along the entire stretch of EDSA to ensure unimpeded traffic flow without need for much human intervention.
This, it said, will allow HPG troopers to supervise other critical hot spots such as EDSA-Taft Avenue and Gil Puyat Avenue-Taft junctions.
The group added that the presidential directive must be expanded to include C5, the second most important circumferential road that provides an alternate route to relieve traffic load from EDSA, and to other national roads, such as Katipunan and Commonwealth avenues.
Important radial roads should also be watched, such as Gil Puyat, Shaw Boulevard, Ortigas Avenue and E. Rodriguez Avenue, it said.
“Solving this humongous traffic problem necessitates collective action. There should be symmetry of actions. Government must know what its left hand is doing,” Yap said.