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This is one common expression every Filipino has learned to live with. It’s part of life anyway, so why bother?
But I am very bothered! Deeply bothered not because there is traffic jam, but because this problem has existed for ages but has not been given enough solutions.
Do not dare telling me that “something” is being done, because that something obviously is not enough. And when something is not enough, it means that an improvement is necessary. So NO, the efforts are not meeting the expected results.
Lucena in Focus
This afternoon, I went out to go the bank. A drive to the bank normally takes 15 minutes from my house.
But today, I spent a good 1 hour just to get to my destination. Which meant that I wasted 45 minutes of my precious time sitting inside the public jeepney.
Let’s do a quick math-
45 minutes x 7 days = 315 minutes or 5 hours/25 minutes (or quarter of a day)
45 minutes x 30 days = 1,350 minutes or 22 hours/50 minutes (or almost 1 day)
45 minutes x 365 days = 16,425 minutes or 274 hours or 12 days (or almost half a month)
If you are earning 50 Php per hour X 274 hours = 13,700 Pesos annually
So you see, you are not losing time but also losing a good fortune.
The amount may not be as huge, but still it is money that one could have spent for some business, or bills (most likely hospital bills due to pollution in the city).
So What’s Going On?
In order to understand the problem, one has to look back at the history of Lucena City.
The city streets were only designed for dual traffic i.e. going and coming. There are narrow alleys where a vehicle can take as alternate routes. Up until 2005, these streets were functioning well.
However, due to the construction of big complexes like SM Mall, Metro Mall, Hotels, Fastfood Shops, and other establishments- the volume of vehicles has increased dramatically that the small streets intended for a limited number of vehicles could no longer support the flow.
The result- HORRIBLE TRAFFIC!
What To Do?
The way I see the situation, there are very limited solution to the traffic jam problems.
Segregate the transportation levels
A - Limit the entry of public utility vehicles inside the city proper. Leave the city to the tricycles.
B - Create jeepney terminals from several entry points e.g. Gulang-Gulang, Red-V, Cotta, Iyam.
C - Jeepney terminals should have proper departure timings and designated drop off points. They should not be allowed to stop anywhere they want.
D - Passengers should only wait at proper jeepney stops.
The city proper, admit it or not cannot accommodate the traffic anymore. Take Sundays for example, when the mass is conducted at St. Ferdinand Cathedral, the vehicles no longer moves.
The segregation will not only ease the traffic inside the city but will also allow for a more disciplined driver-passenger relationships.
So How Do You Implement This?
For sure, there will be huge resistance to this recommendation, after all the passengers will rather choose to be stuck in traffic than to change from one vehicle to another.
Jeepney drivers will also complain since this will cut their incomes.
But the upside part of this recommendation are:
A - The obvious ease on traffic woes
B - More efficient transportation
C - People can avoid getting late for appointments
D - Better air condition in the city
I hope that the City of Lucena policy makers do find from the bottom of their hearts i alleviating this traffic problem.
This problem has already spread in Manila, and has become like a cancer slowly eating the city. Because a city that does not function well is eventually going to die, and Lucena is just starting to boom.
Let us not be like Manila. We still have hope.