Discuss: Traffic and the Experts

Allow me to state a number of irrefutable statements. The University of the Philippines (UP) is one of the top Philippine universities. Within UP’s sprawling Diliman campus is found the National Center for Transportation Studies (NCTS), which does, among other things, expert transportation research and expert traffic studies. Unless somebody backs up a claim that another agency/entity (public or private) is better, the UP NCTS is the BEST transportation/traffic think tank in the Philippines.

A number of government agencies are involved in Metro Manila’s transportation/traffic situation — the local government traffic department, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). Remove the MMDA and we have the agencies handling the rest of the Philippines.

It is irrefutable that we have a number of agencies that are experts in transportation and traffic.

This week, we see the MMDA blaming the LTFRB for the indescribably horrible traffic in Metro Manila, including Katipunan Avenue and C5, brought about by the disagreement between the two agencies in LTFRB’s “non-apprehension” policy. Also this week, we witnessed an Engineer of the DPWH admitting that they did not consult the MMDA in implementing their road projects, causing traffic jams. We’ll not even go into the mass transport systems like the rail and airports.

And that’s just this week.

It may not be proper for us mortals to talk about traffic when there are experts who are better equipped to deal with the traffic / transportation problem. Because we don’t want to arrive at conclusions without asking some classificatory questions, we’ll start with the following points. If the NCTS has been consulted on traffic/transportation concerns, and given that the NCTS is the best there is, why is traffic/transportation a mess? We need not look far and peek at the traffic situation surrounding UP Diliman — Commonwealth Avenue, C.P. Garcia and Katipunan Avenue. Anybody has some answers?


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