Wrong turn

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    ABSENT ENFORCEMENT, laws are non-existent. 6:04 p.m. July 20, MacArthur Highway, ‘twixt Jollibee and McDonald’s, Balibago, Angeles City. So since when did pedestrian lanes double as turning slots for vehicles?

    So I posted in my Facebook account which immediately drew torrents of “Likes” and comments, mostly damning to the traffic enforcers.

    Kinder though is my seminary brother Efren “Jeff” Chua posting: Calling Angeles City traffic enforcers…don’t wait for an accident to happen soon! Kailan pa naging U-turn slot ang pedestrian lane?

    Two days after, July 22, our friend Jay Pelayo of the city government’s communications and media group posted a photo:

    Captioned thus: Last night, one of the city’s traffic enforcers stationed in front of McDo Balibago impounded 15 motorcycles with traffic violations. Did you know that on this same area, there was a period that our enforcers were able to use five booklets of violation tickets per day?

    And most of those were driving private vehicles, not PUJs.

    Dan Florencio Miranda Concepcion, a member of the city traffic management board, sliced the issue to its core: If motorists would only follow simple traffic rules, we won’t even need traffic enforcers, because no one needs to be cited. Sa Pinas particularly Angeles City it’s a cat-and-mouse game. Pag walang bantay, maraming pasaway. Bakit sa Clark at Subic walang pasaway? Kasi ang mga pusa nagtatago para magbantay at kapag nakahuli, siguradong matindi ang latay.

    Notwithstanding the volume of apprehensions cited by Jay, the traffic enforcers were not spared from the vitriol of netizens, notably People’s Journal’s Rudy Abular and my seminary elder Chito “Batman” Leonardo.

    A second take on Jay’s post made me wonder though: Cited for traffic violations were 15 motorcycles and private vehicles. No tricycles? My photo (topmost) clearly showed a trike crossing over the pedestrian lane.

    Wa epek. Traffic violations persist. 1:14 p.m. July 27.

    Jay posted: What is the violation here sir? Trike can go left to McDo.

    Me: What is the violation? Pedestrian lanes are for people to cross not for vehicles. Pedestrian is the operative word.

    Jay: This side going northbound to Dau is a Left Turn slot but not a U-turn lane. The next one is the big Rotonda. It may serve as a gateway for the McDonald’s drive thru and commuters for Fields Ave. trikes. Since we have shut down the Don Gueco Intersection which in the past created tremendous traffic on opposite lane, traffic congestion on both lanes is caused by some PUJs that stay idle while waiting for passengers who are on the roadway lane blocking the middle and outer lanes The motorists who turn left are similar to those going to Robinsons, Sta. Maria Church and Surla St.

    I don’t want to be judgmental but I see something patently wrong here.

    Making those pedestrian lanes as Left Turn slots too is not only an abject violation of traffic laws, it is a total negation of their very meaning – pedester (Latin): one on foot, from pes, pedes for foot. Most seriously, it exposes the pedestrians to mortal danger from the vehicles that share crossing space with them. To be fair to Jay, he posted that he has taken our concern to the traffic management board.

    At least two questions too beg for answers with the Left Turn slot opened to “serve as a gateway for the McDonald’s drive thru and commuters for Fields Ave. trikes.”

    Isn’t Fields Ave. declared a “Walking Street” as monumentalized in those arches at its boundaries? Why the access to trikes there? Traffic violation anew, or at the least, mislabelling here.

    “Gateway” to McDonald’s. Here, the exchanges spawned by these FB posts down spiralled to ethical issues, to wit:

    Jeff Chua: I asked one traffic enforcer why they allow this kind of traffic violation. Ang sagot niya sa akin, binibigyan daw ng priority ang McDo.

    Don Allan Dinio, my seminary elder, posted:

    Maybe it’s about time to rotate those traffic enforcers in-charge of that area…dakal nalang kumpadre-padrino or getting free coffee from McDo! “Binibigyan daw ng priority ang McDo!”

    Rotation of duty places will diminish “comfort zones” of these traffic enforcers and take them away from their kumpadres and padrinos. Just a suggestion for the Traffic Management Board if their suggestion lines are open!

    Jeff, brutally straightforward, taking it to the next level: I don’t blame the traffic enforcers ayaw lang nila aminin na it is a direct order from their superiors. Hindi lang naman sa McDo sa Fields Ave. corner MacArthur Highway that this is allowed. Ang tanong ko: Sino ba ang owner/ owners ng mga business establishments? Kung alam mo…kaya naman pala eh! Sa totoo lang wala nang pag-asa ang Pinas, because in the implementation of our justice system it is the color of money ang nagpapatupad kahit mali na at kitang kita mo pa sa dalawa mong mata!

    One more straight path taking a wrong turn there.

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