SOLVING TRAFFIC WOES IN URBAN AREAS
There was total gridlock one Friday afternoon and it took commuters to reach their destination after spending six hours on the road, which normally in a perfect day would take them half an hour, stop over included, travel time. And according to MMDA authorities, the very people tasked to maintain sanity on the metropolitan roads; traffic will be horrendous and should be expected for another two weeks. The Palace immediately sent its apologies for the cataclysmic road headache caused by institutional experiment or whatever. And since there was no typhoon or monsoon rain to blame, or even some kind of freak accident to accuse, or some ungoverned parade of sort somewhere, the people were just asked to calm down and exercise patience.
Notice that even in news headlines where pictures would depict a horrifying convergence of vehicles on the road literally and describing that part of the metropolis as a giant parking lot, the two major lanes were highlighted where one is brimming at the seams, bumper to bumper and kilometric in stretch while the other opposite lane is virtually vacant. There is total traffic gridlock if both lanes are fully occupied. But it is not. If such is the condition of the road then it can easily be untangled. Just use the other side. If one hand cannot lift a heavy matter while the other hand is doing nothing, then let the other hand assist the other.
But of course, the easiest way is to lay the blame on others. Well, of course, some would advice that it is better to apologize. But in the world of problem solving, one must not point at others for an answer or that one must have to wiggle for a “palusot” to get the right response. Problem solving is solving a problem.
I have been advocating a simple approach of transforming the roads of the metropolis, especially the major ones into a one-way street. What if the route is longer than usual? It is better that way than be stranded. Ask any seasoned driver. Ask a no non-sense taxi driver. He would rather wound every which way to avoid traffic than be caught helplessly in its core.
As it were, MMDA is blaming LTRFB, BOC is blaming the congested ports, DOTC is blaming local government of Manila, the SB of Manila is blaming the truck operators, the businessmen blaming the legislature, and these came about when MRT conked out blaming maintenance, blaming even the weather and everyone else living in the metropolis. And there was this quip from another official claiming that there is traffic because of too many vehicles. How this fellow got his appointment remains a mystery. It has become some kind of a FIBA blame game all through out. After all, government has a traditional culture of blaming for whatever its shortcomings have.
In other countries, where honor is honor, authorities resign at a sign of weakness on their management or even for a shade of a scandal. There lies their strength. One can hardly hear anyone of them blame anybody except themselves. But we are stuck in a culture where honor can only be found in schools.
Well, the point is that traffic is not that bad after all over here. There is a remedy which can be applied just stop blaming and apologizing and do what is necessary.