Lack of discipline, car volume blamed for Metro Manila road congestion

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EDSA may be the top of mind highway for heavy traffic, but other streets in Metro Manila can be just as bad.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Clogged roads, massive volume of vehicles, snail pace traffic.

This is what Metro Manila traffic looks like during morning rush hour. Altogether, they spell a stressful ride or drive.

EDSA is the top of mind highway for heavy traffic in Metro Manila, however, streets in other areas can be just as bad.

Major thoroughfares such as the Elliptical Road and Katipunan in Quezon City, Roxas Boulevard and Osmeña Highway in Manila, and Andrews Avenue and Domestic Road in Pasay City are also monitored by authorities because of traffic jams.

Along Shaw Boulevard, motorists complain of longer travel time compared to past months.

Jeepney driver Rogelio Amante complained that traffic on the said road is comparable to that of EDSA.

Also read: State of emergency needed to solve traffic woes – motoring expert

Randy Bautista, a motorist, complained that what used to take him five minutes to drive before, now takes half an hour.

Causes of congestion

Commonwealth is also a trouble spot during rush hour, even if it's the widest road in Metro Manila.

According to SPO1 Edgardo Talacay, chief investigator of the Quezon City District Traffic Sector 5, various factors contribute to the congestion there.

First, the volume of vehicles coming from many areas.

"Ang Commonwealth is 8-10 lanes on both sides. Magtataka tayo bakit despite almost 10 lanes still mayroon pa ring congestion. Una, volume of vehicles. Vehicles coming from Caloocan, Bulacan, Marikina, Montalban, San Mateo, and the residents of Quezon City so halos limang bayan ang dumadaan dyan," Talacay said.

[Translation: "Commonwealth has 8-10 lanes on both sides. It's a puzzle why despite having almost 10 lanes, there is still congestion. First the volume of vehicles. Vehicles coming from Caloocan, Bulacan, Marikina, Montalban, San Mateo, and the residents of Quezon City take it, so almost five cities are plying it."]

A second, and "big factor," is the lack of discipline, according to Atty. Crisanto Saruca Jr., director of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Traffic Discipline Office.

Also read: LTFRB eyes nonstop double-decker bus service to declog EDSA

On Commonwealth, vehicles changing lanes, illegal terminals, and jaywalkers can be seen.

Authorities said that these often lead to vehicular accidents, slowing traffic even more.

On a daily basis, authorities record an average number of 60 vehicular accidents all over Metro Manila.

Solving traffic woes

Saruca admitted that solving the traffic mess on EDSA and other congested roads require many things, including a reliable mass transport system, additional infrastructure, and reduction in the number of vehicles.

But at the end of the day, he said the solution still boils down to road users. Motorists and pedestrians must follow traffic rules and regulations, he explained.

"Observe traffic rules, go to the loading and unloading bay, use the footbridge, throw your garbage in the proper place. These are simple, but it would mean a lot," Saruca said in a mix of English and Filipino.