by Kenn Ante
Transportation is essential to daily tasks. Every day, transportation plays a big role, and more often than we would like to admit, we are dependent on transportation. Every day, students go to school; people work or take a vacation; or even visit relatives in the province. Let’s face it; we are dependent on transportation.
It is great though that over the years, there have been major improvements on modes of transportation. Transportation has progressed that from kalesas strolling around the calles during the Spanish regime, we now have white or yellow taxis around the metro, the light rail transit and even large vehicles that could fly hundreds of people across the Pacific Ocean.
Transportation has become convenient nowadays since it has become fast, reliable, and diverse. And as our lifestyle improves, so does transportation. Before, there were very few modes of transportation as the technology during that time was not advanced and many concepts that would be used in the present day had yet to be discovered. But today, everyone can easily choose a mode of transportation from a variety of options—bullet trains, cars, bus, ships and airplanes.
With the help of technology and innovation, previous limits to improve vehicle production have been redefined, and soon enough, cars will become more efficient and effective (in a positive manner)in speed, fuel consumption, impact to the environment, safety, and design.
Today, with the growth of the world economy, cars have become cheaper, and though society has yet to achieve these feats, many have started trying.
Nowadays, most people use cars as a primary mode of transportation, and simple addition shows that it is natural for these cars to cause road traffic especially in urban areas. Unlike in the rural parts of the country, the cities are pretty much congested already in terms of population volume, the number of cars, infrastructures and buildings. Moreover, the lack of discipline in following the basic road traffic rules has multiplied the effects of congestion.
The most common example of this would be a jeepney or bus that would stop in the middle of the public road to get passengers. This matter further complicates itself if the jeepney had stopped at an intersection, and would even get worse as the other jeepneys follow the first one. The jeepneys would then occupy the intersection, preventing other motorists from crossing/passing. Tricycles also share the blame when the drivers drive in the middle of the lane. Since tricycles are slower than other vehicles, car vehicle congestion would be immanent.
In addition, the ratio of cars per person or per family has also increased as banks offer flexible payments, and as car companies start price wars that compete for the moneyed market. Rational decision-making would instruct a person to purchase a vehicle, which adds to congestion. To be fair though, we cannot blame the car companies for road congestion because as the saying goes, “business is business.”
Parking has also become a big issue, and is actually a source of road congestion. The sudden increase in the number of cars was not followed by a proportional increase in parking spaces, and with the improvements in infrastructure around the city, parking has become a promised land for most. The problem though is that many motorists have resorted to parking their vehicles beside the highway or street, which makes the road narrower for many motorists.
Furthermore, the pedestrians have also been causing road traffic. Many do not use the pedestrian lanes to cross the road. And street vendors have also been known to transact their business near or along the vehicle lanes, which encourages people to stop in the middle of the road to buy crackers, nuts and candies, and aggravate traffic concerns.
To be honest, most of the traffic problems in the city are just like cars—man-made, and lack of discipline comes right at the top of the list, right above implementation.
It would be great if the traffic rules would be strictly implemented, and if motorists start developing the discipline not to bribe traffic enforcers for violations incurred.
Truth be told, there are plenty of rules that would address traffic, and though most were followed and implemented, people tend to go back and stick to the old ways after some time, which generally means a few days, or hours after an officer comes for an inspection. These regulations should be put into practice consistently to benefit everyone.
Everyone needs to be aware of what is happening today. Everyone should be, or better yet – must be part for the betterment of the society. By growing discipline, we could all avoid traffic, among other problems like pollution, flooding and the like.