To cut traffic, move people, not vehicles

(File photo)
(File photo)

FORMER Cebu City administrator Nigel Paul Villarete, an urban planner, says mobility and public transportation are important issues to address to solve Cebu City’s traffic woes.

“Traffic is the condition when there are too many cars on limited streets, while mobility is the ability of a government to move people,” Villarete said in a message to SunStar Cebu Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023.

“If one’s mindset is to widen the roads to improve traffic, then it will get worse,” said Villarete.

He said the government should look for a solution on how to move people instead of vehicles.

“It is a question of space. A car takes away much road space with only one passenger. A jeepney or a bus takes 25 to 80 passengers on only two car spaces,” Villarete explained.

He said only by improving public transportation could Cebu City address its mobility issues. He added that the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit project has been one of the best decisions that the City has made.

“If you use logic, the solution is to eliminate the cars and let everybody ride jeepneys and buses. I can assure you (that) you won’t have traffic,” Villarete said.

However, he acknowledged the impossibility of eliminating private vehicles, pointing out that 99 percent of lawmakers have cars.

Jay Alba, acting chairman of the Traffic Management Coordination Board, told SunStar Cebu on Thursday, that the main causes of traffic during peak hours include the bulk of people coming in and out of the city, increased population and economy, motorists and pedestrians’ lack of discipline, road accidents, and minor “fender benders.”

Alba said the government has been opening new roads and clearing some roads for utilization to improve the city’s traffic.

He said City Hall is also coordinating with the national government to find ways to improve mobility like through the ongoing construction of the CBRT.

He acknowledged that heavy traffic has a negative impact on everyone and encouraged all motorists to be part of the solution.

Alba said the CCTO will continue to educate people and enforce rules: “If you need a refresher course, you can call the Cebu City Transportation Office hotline to inquire about the seminar schedule. We’d be happy to help and it’s free.”

“Last week, we had a meeting with the Modern Public Utility Jeepneys operators and COOP which was hosted by Ayala. We are here to listen and discuss how we can efficiently manage our roads. Next week we invited operators of food delivery and pick-up services for a dialogue,” he said.

He said it is everybody’s business to help decongest traffic and that discipline has to begin with themselves. (AML)

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