On City’s Heavy Traffic Woes


Let’s face it: the heavy traffic along Puerto Princesa City’s main thoroughfares is not going to subside soon. This is despite the ongoing road-widening project specifically at the runway area, Bgry. San Miguel, and the newly implemented traffic scheme by the City Traffic Management group.

 

Vehicles plying these roads are increasing on daily basis, and it is a good sign that the purchasing power of the residents is strengthening. One of the contributory factors is also the popular offer of almost all carmakers of small and affordable car models that can be availed for as low as eight thousand pesos monthly. Even motorcycles are increasing—as motorcycles are the most affordable and cost-efficient transport choice of the masses. And today, owning a vehicle is no longer a luxury but a necessity.

 

Yet, the city’s central business hub is too confined to accommodate all these vehicles. It doesn’t help that these same roads (Rizal avenue, Malvar and San Pedro) directly connect to the seaport and airport, and mainly serve in our supply chain. And since it will take years, perhaps decades, to distribute the economic activities into expanded areas to decrease the concentration at these identified areas, the government needs to plan more initiatives soon.

 

Our options are limited. Almost all roads are experiencing heavy traffic most time of the day. Several motorists are already regularly using WESCOM and Abanico roads to escape the congestion at San Pedro, yet even these roads are already getting congested. Even Manalo street, which can be an option to ease congestion at Rizal avenue, is also getting congested. As I’ve mentioned earlier, as long as economic activities remain focused in these areas, nothing will help—unless drastic measures will be implemented, which will definitely inconvenient commuters and motorists alike, and at the same time may affect the livelihood of our drivers.

 

Discipline as a Missing Link

If we cannot add more roads nor provide options for the people to go about their business elsewhere every day, then perhaps we can enforce discipline to aid the traffic flow. Is the tricycle color-coding scheme still in effect today? Are colurums allowed now to pick-up passengers? If the government is to strictly impose these legislations, it will cut the number of tricycles probably by half.

 

The government should also consider conducting stakeholders’ analysis to determine the number of affected drivers and commuters should it implement the tricycle ban at national highways. It will significantly decrease the traffic flow at the main thoroughfares. And by implementing a strict tricycle terminal/zoning area, tricycle drivers that will be displaced at the national highways are sure to have passengers. It will also save our commuters from being victimized by abusive drivers that pick up passengers going to opposite points, while expecting the remaining passengers to “enjoy the ride.”

 

Adding to the traffic build-up are motorcycles and tricycles that make u-turns, and pedestrians crossing the streets whenever and wherever they want. If there are strictly enforced “No U-Turns” and pedestrian areas, we can expect a smoother traffic flow.
Bus Service, Anyone?

More employers or schools should consider providing bus service to their employees and students. The City Government has long been servicing its employees, and should Palawan State University (PSU) and other big institutions implement a bus service system and influence their students to avail of its services, we can lessen public utility vehicles (PUV) plying the streets. But then again, this option will affect the income of our drivers.
Identification of Loading and Unloading Zones

A big factor that contributes to the heavy traffic is the lack of identified and strictly implemented loading and unloading zones. Because of this, a driver may stop after every meter to pick up or unload his passenger, and not even caring to position the vehicle properly at the shoulder of the road, thus building up congestion and may even cause accidents. Puerto Princesan commuters are also one of the spoiled commuters in the country. In busy hubs in Manila, one cannot just hail a jeepney wherever he likes. Commuters there need to walk for blocks to get to jeepneys. Although we love comforts, there are times such as this that we need to embrace small sacrifices for the common good.
Number Coding Scheme for Private Vehicles, Perhaps?

Commuting or asking for a ride once a week to help ease the traffic flow is a small but significant sacrifice for car owners. This scheme may not necessarily apply to the whole city but only in identified streets with heavy traffic flow.

Collective Efforts

Bottom line, even if we press hard our government to provide immediate solution to our traffic problem, it is hindered by limitations that will take years to address. Perhaps what we just need for the moment is to do our part and willingness to endure our own sacrifices for the general welfare of our city.

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4 Comments

  1. Tricycles ARE banned from the N.Highway, the law is not implimented and the political will is near zero, two decades of poor planning apart for the gain of the few, yes corruption and greed has been a major factor, we all know it but all to often dont like to see/hear/speak of the gaint pink and manic Gorilla in the room.

    Take a busy junction, on Rizal by Jollybee, if you turn right from nccc towards the Airport you are stuck as that is a drop off/get on point for minicabs, ON the junction, utter madness, shortsighted, the hight of stupidity. Then you see that building overhanging the road, the green one, right across from Jollybee, how on earth did that get a permit? My guess the same way and people that have planned the the roads, someone gained, just no the citizens in general.

    The National highway and Malvar st road expansions have just become parking lanes, its a mess, from 5pm comming down from the old market, getting to junction 2 could take the best part of an hour. Moreover roads that exsisted prior have simply vanished, take The Old Calero rd, a perfect side road to aid the burden for traffic, but that road has been eaten as a feast for the few, encroachment, all 1.7 km, mention it or question it and it falls on the deaf ears, protection by the poor planners and those who have for decades abused.

    I know many drivers who cant read or write, so how does one expect drivers to know or understand the laws or even basic manners, it is clear the system is at fault and that stems, yet again, from those who have ‘driven’ that for the last few decades.

  2. I agree that there are solutions that can be done NOW if only there are more thinking people + political will in our government.

  3. The present LGU administration is doing a great job to build new concrete roads, to improve the sewage system, to widen the roads and make pedestrian walkways. But in the same time, we have a lot of new vendors opening little shops every where in front of empty lots or their own lots & most of the time on road crossings. Of course, the cars and tricycles will stop right in front to buy fish or fruits or vegetables and this is again blocking the traffic.
    Something has to be done now otherwise it will be go out of control.
    If you are building a commercial booth, the city is asking you a parking area: so why these rules are not applying to these little vendors. On top of that, they do not pay any taxes, mayor’s permits & do not follow any sanitary rules: fishes, mushels, meat & vegetables exposed to the flies and sun without proper cold storage.
    These street vendors should be allowed only around the New or old market.
    This is unfair competition for the other shops & on top of that creating big trafic congestion.

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