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By Giano M. Libot

I have issues

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

THE holiday season of December has caused an upsurge of traffic in the city of Cagayan de Oro, mostly of course attributed to an increase in consumer activity in most of the malls and shopping centers around here. To no surprise of course residents have resorted to social media to complain about this. Frankly, traffic and its definition is very relative to someone who has grown up in CdO, our traffic is when we are stuck on the road for more than 15-20 minutes, compared with Manila traffic, this is normal but of course under no circumstance is this problem lite.

A few months ago we’ve already seen regular complaints during rush hour, and more so as this city launched its so called Hapsay Dalan Project that expectations to bring traffic down have also increased, of course when you say you launched a “task force” people expect results, lip service is a meal that the people of CdO have grown tired of being served.

In a growing urbanized environment like the city of CdO, traffic is a reality we all have to grow up into, and so will our future children, and our children’s children. But Traffic is also manageable, given the right system, the right program and the right administrators. So news flash to civilians, we can’t eliminate traffic, that’s why it’s called management because we can only manage it to become at least agreeable, avoiding grid-locks and jams that resort to the mayhem that Manila is often accustomed to.

But one thing I find particularly odd in all this cattle call for reform is the refusal of a lot of us to point at ourselves as part of the solution, about a huge percentage of what contributes to daily traffic isn’t just the absence of a clear organized and cooperative system from the executive, or the lack of wits from our city road managers, but also blatant, and almost systematic disregard of rules from pedestrians, motorists from both public and private.

In a generation of selfies we have often disregarded to look at ourselves in the mirror and look at our own fingerprints. When was the last time you obeyed traffic rules? Yes, only if there is a traffic enforcer visible? How often have we seen a jeepney stop in the middle of the road to pick up passengers? How often have we allowed ourselves to just drop off anywhere despite the sign clearly saying “no loading/unloading,” and we still have the vocabulary to call RTA’s as Sharks and Crocs, clearly this whole mess is also a cause of us and by us.

While I personally claim no expertise in traffic management, and I may have been guilty of doing the things most people do, I guess 2014 is going to be a year that we avoid the trap, don’t stop the vigilance dear citizens, continue to call for reforms, our city needs it, this is the great silver lining in our society today, we have taken to our mediums to tell our city government that we deserve better! But never forget that call has to point back at ourselves too, because if you deserve better, other people deserve a better you as well, we all deserve it. Let’s think about that next time we decide to cross the street without lines.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 31, 2013.


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