Traffic matters are not difficult to resolve. In a column published last year, I mentioned how former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Bayani Fernando described Bacolod City roads as the “most perfect grid” in the country. On a visit to the city 12 years ago, however, he expressed shock seeing fish vendors selling their wares along Luzuriaga Street, with various odors detected when driving by – he shook his head and drove away.
Yet, despite the viability of managing traffic issues in the city, between March 2017 and today, there have been no improvements by the traffic authority office that have impressed local motorists. The office recommended hiring nearly 400 traffic enforcers, promising a smooth traffic flow in the city – it never happened. What the city got was men modeling red shirts, standing around on street corners, and blowing whistles like volleyball referees.
Motorists grew even more disgusted when it turned out many of these enforcers were pedicab operators with no proper driving experience. How does one enforce traffic laws when they don’t even know how to drive? Many motorists fought it out with arrogant enforcers who carried “barriotic” attitudes.
Today, the streets are the same as they have been for the past two years. Tricycle and pedicab operators remain the kings of the road; four-wheeled vehicles get apprehended when driving down the wrong way of a one way street, yet pedicab operators appear to be exempt. How do motorists expect good road management when the head of city traffic cannot enforce the law? Jeepneys continue to stop at any point, bus drivers unload wherever, and motorists merely have to switch on their hazards and they can idle anywhere.
What is this talk of the city government seeking assistance from the MMDA to prepare a master traffic plan? How would they be able to plan a study in 15 days? Bet this plan will just “go down the trail.”
In addition, isn’t there somebody in city government in charge of traffic? That’s their job. It’s embarrassing having to solicit help from the MMDA. Cebu City and Davao City are able to stand on their own – the MMDA is not the answer.
When the individual trusted by the Bacolod City government to resolve locality’s traffic woes was asked to come up with improvements, they said, “78 hours.”
This is the third part of a series. Please make sure to read the prior columns.
This column greets Marikina City first district Rep. Bayani Fernando, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Iloilo City Mayor Jose Espinosa III, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia, senatorial candidate Rafael Alunan III, Jane Javellana, Mini Javellana-Jimenez, Megaworld Corporation Senior Assistant Vice President Harold Geronimo, Raymond Dabao, Talisay City Mayor Neil Lizares III, and Silay City Mayor Mark Golez/WDJ