Almost every Filipino knows EDSA, although not everyone may know that it’s a major thoroughfare in Metro Manila. It’s a road that is [in]famous and unique for many things. EDSA One, EDSA Dos, EDSA Tres and the additional (?) episodes that will rival the plot of Starwars.
Of course, there’s the monstrous heavy traffic which remains unrivaled in Philippine territory, the countless blue MMDA men, the hide-and-seek pink steel fences and, yes, the yellow lane. With that explosion of colors, it’s no wonder why some still refer to the “number-coding” scheme as the “color-coding” scheme.
The Yellow Lane is (or was?) supposed to separate the public utility vehicles (PUVs) from the private vehicles. I must say it was effective, specially together with the bus-dispatching scheme (I forgot how it’s called, but it’s the scheme where buses are supposed to be dispatched at scheduled regular time intervals to minimize clogging at EDSA). For some time, the major bottlenecks, including the Cubao northbound lane after the GMA fly-over, were gone.
It was effective when it was implemented. Now, it’s a free-for-all at EDSA. The photo shows how it looks like under the Kamuning fly-over, southbound. As you can see, there’s a yellow bus swerving to the left, and, as a result, all the lanes are occupied by buses. That bus is swerving to the innermost lane because the lanes on the right are occupied by buses and jeepneys loading/unloading passengers.
It’s plain to see that all lanes are occupied. Now, with those pictures, maybe it’s no longer hard to imagine why buses, swerving and occupying all the lanes, greatly contribute to the traffic mess in Metro Manila. Of course, they’re not the only culprits, and let me clarify that buses are indispensable components of the Philippine transportation system.
The MMDA is supposed to enforce the Yellow Lane rule, or maybe I have it all wrong – drivers are supposed to follow this rule, regardless of the presence of the blue MMDA men. I endure the EDSA traffic almost everyday and aside from the fact that I consider it as my penitensya in lieu of non-pork Fridays, I have come to the conclusion that the Yellow Lane is not respected. Heck, I can even venture to say that the MMDA is not respected by bus and jeepney drivers. Buses and jeepneys are truly the kings of the road. They are untouchables. I don’t know why.
To some extent, the pink fences (over the Yellow Lanes) are meant to enforce the rule, but bus drivers have a habit of “accidentally” running over these fences. Because of these “accidents”, MMDA placed concrete dividers to take the place of the yellow lanes/pink fences.
The heavy traffic got me thinking, not of my bladders (thank Bayani for those pink urinals, but this is another matter). Atty. Alex Lacson mentioned obeying simple traffic rules as the first thing every Filipino can do to help our country. Obeying traffic rules is indicative of how we follow more complex laws. The progression of the ways to enforce the Yellow Lane (from the yellow paint, to the pink fences, to those gray, solid concrete dividers) speaks a lot. Maybe Filipinos need someone who has iron fists, er, stone fists, to govern them?
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