24 Jul Traffic sa EDSA
By MEL CASTILLO
There has been a lot of debate regarding the future plans of the government to curb the domination of private vehicles on the streets of Manila. Some say that it is just, while others say that the problem on the streets is not the number of private vehicles but rather the abuse of public vehicles on the road.
It seems that there are two clear factions in this debate regarding who is really to blame for the traffic in Manila and both are adamantly standing by their side stating that they are in the right. The public vehicles say that they are simply trying to make a living and there is a case to be made as well for patterning ourselves with the first world countries wherein the majority of the people commute everyday to ease the congestion of the streets. It is also cheaper and better for the environment. For the private vehicles, they say that since they are the taxpayers who fund the maintenance of the streets, they have more right to it. There have been several posts on the internet that also show the whole of EDSA being blocked by public buses barring all other vehicles from passing and therefore causing major buildup.
But who is really to blame for this mess? Is there really someone to blame, or do we all share in the demise of the streets of Manila? We are considered one of the worst places to drive in in the world, and truth be told we all know of people who refuse to drive from the south to the north and vice versa simply because of the traffic. There are also others who would rather stay very late or leave very early just to avoid the rush hour crush.
There is simply too many people cramming themselves in the metro that there is not enough room for everyone. And the congestion is brought about by the sheer volume of people going to the same place at the same time. Restricting either private or public vehicles on the streets will only make things marginally better, and only for a short while. While both parties make valid points regarding why they should not be limited with their use of the roads, both overlook the other side of the argument. We are all simply trying to make a living in the same tiny space we decided to stay in. The most that we can do is pray for a better public transport system that would inspire us to commute rather than take a car, and also to extend our patience and our discipline on the road to not block other people just so we can be first in line, at the expense of others.