BY THE definition of Pat Guevarra, the former mayor of the city of San Fernando, traffic is a sign of progress.
Shut down one of the two flyovers, in today’s case the narrower one at the intersection of Jose Abad Santos Avenue (JASA) and Lazatin Boulevard, and you get the picture--the big one, in vivid and varied colors.
This city has really gone big and bold over the years as it seeks to elevate itself from its neighbours and other cities in terms of real and visible growth. This city is also like no other, in so many different way. For one thing, it’s probably the only one in the country where two flyovers are just within a stone’s throw of each other.
Again, you can say, it’s progress.
But it seems like progress without vision.
Simply put, a vision is a bigger glimpse of the future and preparing—not repairing—for it. It’s acting before it happens, not when it is happening.
Planning is a part of visioning. Sadly, it’s appears to be lacking. The current traffic problem along JASA in light of the flyover repair is instructive. Components of a crisis-like management approach to the problem are missing. For instance, traffic aides and signages are scarce on critical points. Even a truck ban on certain time of day, should have been considered. (Based on my random count, there is one truck or two for every ten vehicles passing through JASA). To be sure, it’s not that terrible, but things could have been better.
As this city grows into a bigger and more attractive place, and the region as well, which is the way of the future, this city will be more challenged, traffic-wise.
Now is the time to prepare for that, particularly on vital infrastructure that need not be repaired or rebuilt every so often. This is the 21st century, and structures can be built to stand for 50 or 100 years of integrity and safety.
While at that, three or four years ago, the bigger flyover was supposed to be closed for repair because of some missing nuts and bolts. There was even a big billboard announcing it. For some reason, it didn’t happen and the billboard was just torn down by the elements.
And, by the way, the pedestrian bridge along JASA is roofless for some time now.