Pacete: Traffic problems and tourism industry

GOOD! We invite people to come to our place because of our wonderful festivals. Big companies are sending their representatives here because of our first- class convention facilities. We made elegant marketing strategies in foreign countries to entice tourists that our town or city is the best destination.

We call it tourism because of our best food, best hotels, best convention center, best economic growth, and our place is really worth visiting. How is the traffic condition in our area? Well, that is another story and that story could be interesting. We do not deny the facts that car companies have over-promoted their products. Many would want to become car owners.

If we have the best things in tourism, what is the best solution to our traffic problem? What are the wonderful stories that are worth sharing? If you are a visitor coming from the airport passing Silay, Talisay, then Bacolod, you will feel pent-up emotion while entering the capital city especially during rush hours. This and that part of the road is being repaired.

Good! We need to fix our road. In Makati City, roads are fixed from 9 o’clock in the evening up to 3 o’clock in the morning. Workers do not leave open pits or pile of sand and gravel to obstruct the flow of vehicles. The work continues again the following night. Traffic enforcers are assigned in proper places and traffic lights are functioning “intelligently.”

In some areas, traffic enforcers should make proper coordination with fellow traffic enforcers assigned in other junction. The traffic supervisor assigned in that area should see to it that the “stop” or the “go” order should be synchronized. A radio system will help ease the problem. Actions can only be productive if it is properly done.

There are some congested streets where the enforcers are already bullied by some stupid drivers who cannot wait for their turn. We would like to suggest that regular policemen should be assigned to conduct the traffic.

If not possible, we can assign police trainees. If the regular policemen cannot do the job, we cannot expect the enforcers to do better.

In downtown areas, the sidewalk should not be for the vendors. The vendors should be inside the market. If the ordinance is not clear, it should be amended and written in simple English with Hiligaynon translation. Implementation should come from the top; from the leaders who have the political will and steel balls.

It should be considered that the road is for the vehicles and not for the variety of vendors. Our planners should review the public market set-up.

If we want to attract buyers, investors, and tourists to appreciate our public markets, then our public markets should be of international standards also… well-lighted, enough supply of water, good drainage, new roof, and comfortable comfort rooms.

Parking and no parking areas should be understood well. Loading and unloading stations should not be converted as waiting stations. Double parking should not blind the enforcers because the cars are “brand new” and owned by the “rich and the famous.” We do not blame the enforcers because they only cling to the vines.

These are the scenarios that are common in some towns and cities. Other concerns to be considered are the smoke-belching vehicles. The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board and the Land Transportation Office should check the “running coffins,” the dilapidated passenger vehicles and cargo trucks (especially loaded with sugarcane and sand and gravel). Some traffic lights need immediate repair. Traffic signs should be made available in strategic areas and pedestrian lanes need repainting.

Towing ordinance should be updated and be given strict implementation. Road shoulders by night should not be transformed as garage. “Bantay Dalan” brigade should check early warning devices of vehicles having trouble at the highway. Loading in cargo trucks in road shoulders should be given attention.

Traffic problem is one concern that could be given solution. We are not Metro Manila or Metro Cebu yet. Mayors and chiefs of police in our metro area and tourism district could sit down together and come up with the best plan. There are civic groups with members who are willing to assist our Traffic Division.

Next time, we can include in our invitation, “Come to our place and enjoy. We handle traffic flow with grace.”
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