Wenceslao: That traffic mess, 3

THE monstrous traffic jam on December 23 that choked the traffic mainly at the Talisay-Minglanilla corridor can be considered the worst of the regular traffic woes experienced in the same corridor at different levels almost daily. Meaning that this was bound to happen like it did that day. And it would happen again if the concerned local government units, with Capitol and the congressional district rep, won’t act on it.

Commuters who use the route daily or regularly know where the choke points are. In Minglanilla town, all intersections are choke points, notably at the Tungkil, Tubod, Calajo-an and poblacion areas. In Talisay, these are near the commercial areas and a school in Lawaan and in the junction near a mall where the Cebu South Road meets the Cebu South Coastal Road. Also, the coastal road’s intersections are mostly choke points.

An accident or a failure by traffic enforcers to clear the area of any blockade or to time well the movement of vehicles would already create snarls that if not eased immediately would have the other choke points act up. That is why the Minglanilla government has dispensed with the traffic lights in the choke points in Tungkil and Calajoan because of timing problems that caused traffic snarls in the said intersections.

I heard an interview by Jason Monteclar over dyCM of one of the reclusive Minglanilla officials, Concordio Mejias, who claimed that the monstrous traffic jam on December 23 started at the choke point near the Gaisano mall in the poblacion when a vehicle suffered mechanical failure. That probably wasn’t immediately dealt with because the traffic enforcers were attending a Christmas party at that time.

The knowledge of the traffic choke points in Talisay and Minglanilla would have allowed the traffic commands in the two local government units (LGUs) to map out alternative routes under normal circumstances but more so during crisis, like Saturday’s traffic mess. But the LGUs obviously didn’t see that as a necessity until sh-t happened.

I think a traffic expert, invited during traffic management planning by the concerned LGUs could help. He or she can help the said LGUs map out ways to ease traffic in the various choke points. The inputs by experts are necessary especially in Minglanilla considering that its officials have been clearly overwhelmed by the traffic problem in the south road. Minglanilla officials should admit their limitations in traffic management.

On the other hand, traffic enforcers in Talisay and Minglanilla (especially in the latter) could use continued upgrading of their skills in directing traffic. In Minglanilla, I could see that the traffic enforcers were picked up from the usual political supporters without consideration for knowledge on traffic rules. That is probably why they are not allowed to issue TOPs, only traffic citation tickets. Skills upgrading is a must.

Finally, coordination. Metro Cebu has reached a point where coordination, especially in traffic management, is already a necessity. Rep. Samsam Gullas and Gov. Hilario Davide III can facilitate that.

Concerned officials should not wait for the completion of promised infra projects to ease traffic congestion. They should act now.
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