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Today's Punto
Opinion
AS EVER
It’s enforcement, duh!
By Bong Lacson

Jul 27, 2017

CSF addresses traffic problems through summit.

In a bid to address traffic congestion in the city, the Local Government of San Fernando conducted the first traffic summit yesterday at the Heroes Hall.

This was participated in by different transport groups, barangay officials, government agencies, non-government organizations, and representatives from schools, churches and malls.

The summit is the start of a series of consultations and collaborative efforts from the local government unit and stakeholders in order to give viable solutions for the city’s traffic operations.

Ret. Col. Danilo Bautista, Officer in charge of the Traffic Management Division (TMD), said the summit aims to identify the causes and effects of the rising volume of vehicles in the city and get recommendations from the stakeholders involved.

“Among the cited problems during the summit were the insufficiency of parking spaces in fast food chains, obstruction of ambulant vendors in major thoroughfares, and the lack of discipline of public utility vehicles’ operators,” Bautista added.

For his part, Mayor Edwin “EdSa” Santiago said the city is pushing for the institutionalization of the Public Order and Safety Coordinating Office to spearhead the effective planning and focusing on the issues of traffic jam.

“We are continuously adding manpower in the TMD and we are striving to provide our personnel with skills and educational trainings and keep them well informed on the national and local traffic rules to effectively manage traffic,” Santiago added.

Under the New San Fernando concept, the city mayor also plans to implement a comprehensive Land Use Plan to decongest the city’s central business district. To improve accessibility in main roads, the local government will also focus in traffic management modernization.

Meanwhile, city officials led by Mayor EdSa and Vice Mayor Jimmy Lazatin and all stakeholders signed a pledge of commitment to implement and initiate policies and solutions; and abide by the traffic laws towards a more sustainable road, transport and traffic management in San Fernando.

IT’S ENFORCEMENT, stupid!

Great though the temptation to shout out the city government for its press release above, I am stayed by the consolatory at-least-they-aredoing- something-about-the-traffic-mess.

Hopefully, the doables this time will go beyond the conspicuous posting of traffic laws along the streets of the city that served nothing more than emphasize to one and all the inutility of the city government in enforcing its very laws.

“Tricycles are not allowed on major highways.” “No helmet, No travel.” With corresponding fines for violations appended. Trikes, bareheaded motorcyclists routinely zoom past these signages under the very noses of indifferent traffic enforcers.

Motorcycles carrying three passengers, as well as children packed between bodies – patent violations of national laws – are never apprehended.

Yes, it’s enforcement, moron!

That’s the first order in any list of possible solutions to traffic problems.

The problems of “obstruction of ambulant vendors in major thoroughfares, and the lack of discipline of public utility vehicles’ operators” cited in the summit are best resolved by strict enforcement.

Let us not delude ourselves, there is no such thing as self-discipline when it comes to ambulant vendors and PUV operators. As they are long-conditioned to break the law at any and every opportunity, given or otherwise, discipline need to be imposed, aye, impacted, the hardest on them.

Yes, it’s enforcement, imbecile!

So, how do you intend to solve the “insufficiency of parking spaces in fast food chains”?

For the existing ones, I will not suggest razing to the ground abutting establishments to make for parking lots. For those yet to come, how about imposing requirements of x-number parking slots before they are given any permit to operate.

Mayor EdSa’s push for a “Public Order and Safety Coordinating Office to spearhead the effective planning and focusing on the issues of traffic jam” and adding skilled, well-informed manpower to the city’s traffic management division are ideal initiatives that can only be good if backed by the political will to enforce the law.

Sorely absent in the summit – if we go by the PR – is any discussion of alternative road networks, either the construction of new ones or the rehabilitation of existing ones, to really decongest traffic in the city.

There was this idea of a road parallel to the NLEx from Sto. Tomas through San Fernando to Angeles City that was propounded at the time of Mayor Oscar S. Rodriguez. Given the exigency of the moment, studies of its feasibility are definitely in order.

The tail dike can be asphalted – as it is now from Cabalantian to San Pedro Cutud – through its whole span to very well serve as alternate route to Sto. Tomas, Minalin and further to Macabebe and Masantol. I take that road every Sunday from St. Jude to the old folks’ home in Sto. Tomas in a span of 25 minutes flat as opposed to 45 minutes at the regular MacArthur Highway route.

Then, there is the need to open subdivision roads to light vehicles – especially that going through Gemsville and San Fernando Subd. connecting JASA to the Capitol Blvd.

Also, the clearing of minor roads of obstructions to serve as alternate routes, as Angeles City did, but sadly did not maintain.

Yes, it’s enforcement, duh!

 

 

 

 


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