Cebu's traffic woes, discipline, and responsibility
PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas (The Freeman) - September 24, 2015 - 10:00am

One can say the traffic situation in Cebu is still so much better than in Metro Manila. That is, however, not the point. If management were effective and everyone disciplined enough to do their share, then traffic may be more regulated, less problems on the road, and, less stress for all, drivers, pedestrians, enforcers, and more.

Last Tuesday, an FB post showed a vehicle hanging by a Mandaue overpass, causing so much delay and trouble for thousands of commuters. How did that incident happen? It is one for the believe it or not section. But due to the lack of discipline of some Filipinos, such unbelievable antics are labeled as possible "only en da Philippines."

How was it possible for that vehicle to be in that hanging position? How long did it take for Mandaue's traffic enforcers and managers to untangle that traffic-causing incident?

Will that incident serve as a lesson for all to be more responsible while on the road? Will that incident make the traffic enforcers more vigilant in enforcing strict traffic rules and regulations?

Traffic problems are present all throughout, not only in Cebu and in Metro Manila but everywhere else in the world. However, surely, there are successful or effective models that our local traffic management team and officials can learn from?

Environmentalists are consistent about their advocacy to lessen the vehicles on the road, for people to take the bikes ( with safe designated lanes ) or to walk if possible. The roads were and are not intended solely for vehicles. Roads are for all, for everyone, but at the moment , our roads seem to be for cars and trucks, not for pedestrians and bikers.

Some areas and countries have resorted to no-car days and have saved the earth  some less pollution days and free public space. Mass transportation, rather than private transportation, has been advocated as well.

Without doubt, many experts and specialists have analyzed traffic challenges in Cebu, Metro Manila, elsewhere. The causes of traffic are known, several solutions suggested and tried. To date, however, there is still so much room for effective and successful traffic management.

Wednesday morning, before this article was written, an FB post showed an area of Cebu City with 3 traffic enforcers present but not doing anything to stop a jeepney driver from trying to do a short-cut by inserting his vehicle from another lane, just before the overpass. Many drivers do this. Rather than wait for their turn to take the overpass  in the same lane with the others in Banilad, they cut in from the outer lane, causing so much traffic, stress, delay, and trouble as well.

The FB post asked why the 3 traffic enforcers assigned that morning did not bother to have one of them stationed at the entrance portion of the overpass. Their presence alone can serve as deterrent for erring, impatient drivers not to cut in from another lane. Their presence and strict enforcement can save commuters and other drivers so much stress and discomfort and time. A number of enforcers, however, seem to prefer the shade of the sun or the company of co-enforcers rather than responsibly being on the road and in areas where their presence and management can be effective and needed.

Drivers and pedestrians , on the other hand, also add to daily traffic woes. Unmindful or perhaps uninformed of traffic rules, drivers just drive as if they were kings of the roads. Pedestrians also ignore designated crossing lanes and just cross where it is most convenient for them, never mind if that may cause them their lives , never mind if their road behavior adversely  affects others.

Schoolchildren are visited by traffic enforcers and are even taken to some streets to learn proper and safe road behavior. Adults , however, are not at all good models for the children.

Admittedly, traffic management has so many challenges before effective and ideal traffic situation can be witnessed and experienced on our roads. Discipline and responsibility from all are also essential qualities needed to avert  or lessen traffic woes.

What to do then? Any suggestions please?


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