The 23-kilometer-long EDSA is the main artery of Metro Manila's traffic, traversing six major cities. Unfortunately, its worsening traffic situation can also become the primary reason for our arteries to explode.
The Highway Patrol Group's (HPG) arteries certainly did. A day after being tapped by President Noynoy Aquino for a solution, the Philippine National Police's proud HPG got their first real taste of this huge problem last Tuesday night, September 8. Combining the sheer rush-hour volume with a massive downpour, the highway was transformed into a snake-like parking lot, leaving commuters in a gridlock that didn't clear up until the wee hours of Wednesday.
Image via Topgear.ph
We certainly hope the HGP has a few bright ideas.
At this point, what we do know is that they are aware of some of the causes of the problems. Last Wednesday, September 9, GMA News Online got a hold of HGP officer PO3 Catherine Guerrero, who currently mans the EDSA-Cubao chokepoint. Since taking over, she says that they've already made 247 traffic obstruction-related arrests.
Stationed at the problem area, she has also made a few observations regarding the causes of these traffic jams, which we've listed down here. Could it be you're partly to blame, too? Here's her take:
THE PROBLEM: PUBLIC BUSES SWERVING AND EATING UP LANES TO UNLOAD PASSENGERS
Image via Skycrapercity.com
What she says: "Usually talaga mga bus kasi alam na nilang hindi sila puwedeng [mag-swerve] para mag-unload [ng pasahero] pero ginagawa pa rin nila."
The solution: If you're a passenger, keep in mind that public buses have designated bus stops where they're allowed to drop you off. They are not taxis, which can drop you off right at your stop, so stop asking buses if you can be dropped off right at Farmer's Cubao.
THE PROBLEM: COMMUTERS RACING TO GET ON THE BUS...IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD
Image via Topgear.ph
What she says: "Yung mga commuters sinasalubong na nila yung bus. Kahit pinapatabi pa namin hindi namin mapigil yung mga commuters na naghahabol sumabay."
The solution: Patience. How many times have we seen buses eating multiple lanes because they're busy loading or unloading passengers? Unruly buses + undisciplined passengers = the situation we have now.
To clarify further, here's PO3 Guerrero saying her sentiments on the issue: "Kahit ticket-an namin yung mga bus problema rin yung mga nag co-commute. So sana yung mga commuters doon na lang sila mag-abang sa sakayan para naman yung mga bus nakakatabi ng tama kasi doon sila nagkakaroon ng bara."
THE PROBLEM: VEHICLES CAN'T STAY PUT ON A SINGLE LANE
Image via theurbanwalker.net
What she says: "Dapat kung nasaang lane lang sila [doon na lang] o kaya gumamit sila ng signal light when swerving."
The solution: Don't switch to the other lane just because it's moving .005 seconds faster than yours. It's a selfish move that cumulatively causes massive traffic build up. Maybe it's time for us to practice staying on a single lane and stop zipping through the road like a drunken bee.