Manage traffic and the rest will fall in place PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 April 2014 13:24



A friend who is a perceptive observer of life in ZC once remarked “Manage traffic in the city and see how quickly the whole atmosphere of  the city will change.” I tend to agree with this observation.

The chaotic traffic in the city gives a good idea of  a number of things that need to be addressed but which have  not been  addressed over the years.  Let me cite some of them.

First,  the need for an efficient  public transportation system. The tricycle was a response to a  need but for sure the city decision makers could not have meant this to be the “actual response” to the need except in the sense of being a stop- gap measure. But over the years what moves have been taken to move towards a viable system? In the meantime  tricycles have become the ubiquitous ride for the public,  the system  has spawned disregard for fare regulations, their sheer number is a violation  of the legally  authorized number, and they bring our streets  to the choking point by their number.

Second, the nonchalant attitude of many of the city residents to what is supposed to be the law, even if we just consider those  regulations/laws which apply to driving and parking in our streets. Speak of anarchy and we get a pretty good idea by just watching what goes on in our busy streets. We cannot breed citizens who respect the law and who obey the law if we continue to allow them to continue behaving  as they are wont to in our streets – crossing the intersection even when the light is still red, parking right under a sign that says “NO PARKING”, picking up passengers right in front of a sign that says this is not allowed in this part, etc., etc.

Third, the efficiency or lack of it of our law enforcers is very visible in our streets.  There is supposed to be a traffic policeman at given intersections but when one looks carefully he is there but seated in a shady portion and is either texting or has that far away look in his countenance. And, very often, traffic is not moving smoothly  because the drivers simply follow their own rules, if you can call it a rule. More than likely, the driver will simply do what is most convenient for him regardless of what the impact is on others.

I have cited only three observations but if these daily, continuing  situations in our streets are not corrected these are enough to convince people that we don’t have it in us to make ZC competitive with other cities in the country. We cannot have a city that exudes an “anything goes” atmosphere for that is not the kind that attracts investors , whether local or otherwise.

What investors look for is an LGU that looks forward a generation or so to a city that is dynamic and  peaceful, and has laid down plans and directions to arrive at where it wants to be.