Our clogged roads PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 30 October 2017 14:18

By Remedios F. Marmoleño

Vehicular traffic has become more challenging to residents of urban centers. The time we need to travel by car or bus from point 1 to point 2 in many places in the world has become longer. This is both a good and a bad sign.

People need transportation to go from the home to school, to market, to work places or simply to enjoy some recreation like visiting friends , or going shopping at the mall or similar activities. In the morning we do any of these and in the afternoon we  travel  in the reverse direction. And that is why we have such a thing as peak travel time. Some people travel by the available public transit system and others by private vehicles.

If there are more cars on the road it means that the economy is growing better so that more people can afford to buy their own vehicles. The flip side of this is also that the roads are choked and going to places outside the home now becomes a chore. Manila is a good example to think about.

The time to get from one point to another is a serious factor to consider by people who have some business to carry out outside the home. And the Filipino’s penchant to be cavalier about punctuality becomes even worse.

The longer time  we need to travel from one point to another is just one of the negative impacts of our roads choked with traffic. Another negative point to consider is that more vehicles on the road also mean more combustion engines spewing out CO2 into the atmosphere. Climate change deniers, and  this group includes US Pres Trump, will not accept that there is such a thing as climate change  nor that CO2 emission is a major contributor to it. Most of the world’s scientists though concede that climate change is a reality and that CO2, whether from  combustion engine vehicles or other sources, is a major factor to look at.

Some countries have already taken steps to intervene in this dilemma. One way is to encourage development of engines that do not use fossil fuel products. Electric cars have been developed but there is continuing effort to make this type of vehicle more efficient. Another way is to provide more efficient mass transit systems so people do not have to drive their own vehicles to get to where they have to go. An  item in a news channel said that Singapore is now considering 0% increase in the number of private vehicles in the country within a given time period.

I thought the phase out of the jeepney by 2018 is a step in the direction of providing Filipinos with a more efficient mass transit system. But I was wrong. Now it seems that the old jeepney as typified by the Sarau or the Francisco model, if 15 years old or older, will be phased out  and  simply replaced by newer models. Abangan ang susunod.