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One major correction needed

How can we begin to talk about a Renaissance for Infrastructure if we can’t even repair or maintain roads to a decent standard?

Anyone who has been driving around Metro Manila in the last month can tell you that road conditions as well as the uncoordinated road widening and canal works of LGUs are a major cause of traffic. Stop floating the nonsense that the traffic is caused by Grab and Uber’s thousands of units. Those numbers have always been there, but what is clearly a seasonal problem are the potholes, deteriorating roads and LGU projects that clog or slow down traffic.

Before we talk about “Build – Build – Build” fantasies, I suggest that Malacañang first come up with a program of “Fix – Fix – Fix.” Just try driving from Monumento to MOA and observe the very “DILAPIDATED STATE OF EDSA.” I was so convinced that my car had seen better days because of the rough ride until I reached the SLEX-Mates expressways and realized that there was nothing wrong with my car. The problem was EDSA had become a 23.8 kilometer stretch of body pain both for my car and myself! The problem is every time the media raises the issue of repairing or repaving EDSA, the DPWH talks “RE-BLOCKING” and how difficult it is to schedule and do. People have said time and again that they will make the sacrifice if the DPWH can commit to a plan and to a deadline.

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Every morning drivers coming out of Katipunan Avenue going to Makati have to box out drivers on EDSA going north. Once they get onto EDSA some of the law breaking drivers cut ahead or create new lanes towards the U-turn in front of Crame and end up leaving only one lane open on EDSA. What we don’t see is HPG or MMDA enforcers making actual arrests. There is also a need to cordon off a longer distance for the U-turn lane to avoid lane jumpers! Ultimately something has to be done about the problem: reroute, dig an underground tunnel beneath EDSA or lower the MRT so we can build a flyover from Katipunan to EDSA.

The MRT needs a complete and total overhaul not just the trains but its placement and elevation at points. Why is it that the MRT went underground in order not to invade the privacy of the exclusive villages but screwed the residents of Quezon City by blocking and closing the pre-existing intersection at EDSA – Katipunan. The damage has been done but that doesn’t mean it can’t be undone. The MRT needs to be fixed and one major correction that can be done is to dig a trench or lower the track fronting Katipunan Avenue. While that’s being done the builders can come in and sink in the needed post and beams for a flyover. That way there won’t be any threat of road collapse on the MRT. That would be a more useful bridge or flyover to build than the proposed Lawton – Sta. Monica Bridge that the DPWH insists on.

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No thanks to the DPWH, everyday I now have to stop at a turn where stopping is unwarranted and could be dangerous because there is a big chance that a newbie driver could slam into your rear for braking instead of driving on. Early this year the DPWH did us the favor of ripping out the tail end of Shaw Boulevard where it connects to Pasig Boulevard and Henry Javier Street and giving all of us a modern concrete boulevard. They even did it on record time so there was not much to complain about, until we realized that when you are coming from Pasig Boulevard / C5 driving into Henry Javier street, the lazy ass crew did not care or bother to make sure their work was leveled with the existing roads. As a result there is now triangular slab of concrete that forces drivers to really stop or slow down because the triangular rise can be fatal to your rims and tires. The problem is that the hazard is located at a stop where other drivers don’t expect you to stop or brake. Imagine having a concrete mixer on your rear when you do the unexpected!

This of course is nothing new! I remember when DPWH road crews also fixed the C5 and left a sharp corner where the road connected to an overpass or bridge that forced drivers to brake or destroy their car. In both instances, lazy ass engineering and lack of professionalism endangered motorists and added to traffic slowing down. Unfortunately none of those lazy people ever get charged or fired from their jobs. They conveniently blame it on the contractor but never file charges of reckless endangerment or the likes. How many bike riders had to hit the pavement or lose their bikes before the authorities fixed the problem of expansion joints eating motorcycle tires at the Magallanes flyover?

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Readers were curious why the LTO had problems with Internet speed and connectivity considering many BPOs, hotels, hospitals and banks don’t experience such nightmares. So I asked and discovered that the worst places for connectivity were Malls where license renewal offices were located. Apparently, part of the arrangement with Malls is that they provide the Internet facility. If it’s DSL or shared Internet, the speed and connectivity is based on first come first served and when everybody plugs in, speed simply crashes. The thing with the German license printers is if the speed goes below the 10 Mbps, it resets and you start all over again.

In other areas, the big telcos are not omnipresent. So you take what’s available like PT&T (yes they’re still around, and “good” I was told) Sky Cable, Converge, etc. So if you happen to have dedicated fiber optic cables with 50 Mbps, say a thank you prayer to God and pray for our friends at the LTO who get cursed for something that is not their fault.

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E-mail: utalk2ctalk@gmail.com


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