By Pinky Concha Colmenares
The word “traffic” has become the magic word to explain many things — from lateness in arriving at meetings, health problems, dents on the car, loss of productivity, or even loss of wallets or mobile phones that get forgotten in taxi cabs.
Without a doubt, traffic is a major issue in our lives. And our government is trying to work out various schemes to solve traffic, even if they can only hasten traffic flow by a few minutes. Those traffic solutions have even become news items that get shared and commented on in Facebook, which shows how close the issue of traffic is to everyone.
The most recent proposal comes in the form of a three-digit coding scheme for the holidays. The proposal is that vehicles with plate number ending in 1, 2,3 will be off the roads on Monday and Thursday; those ending in 4,5,6 can’t be on the road on Tuesday and Friday; those ending in 7,8,9,0 will be off the roads on Wednesday and Saturday.
I suppose Sunday is when all cars can use the roads — until the time someone will suggest to make Sunday a carless day as a contribution to clean air. The proposed scheme expects to reduce vehicle volume on the road by at least 30 to 40 percent.
Early last week, the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT) announced that they will open next week the gates of two government properties — one in Quezon City and the other in Pasay City — to allow private vehicles to pass through diversion roads to help ease traffic flow around the areas.
Those are the gates of Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City and the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) along Andrews Avenue and Tramo. Five more military camps will be opened to the public within the next two weeks to help ease traffic in the metropolis Christmas season. But to use the diversion roads, motorists have to apply for a sticker to gain entry into the camp.
At Camp Aguinaldo, motorists will be allowed to use a diversion road in the camp going to and from EDSA-Santolan and Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City. The diversion roads will be open Monday to Friday, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., until January 15, next year.
Vehicles coming from EDSA can enter Gate 3 and exit at Gate 6 going to Boni Serrano, and Gate 5 going to White Plains, vice versa.
The opening of the gates expects to reduce a volume of 200 vehicles per hour on Boni Serrano Avenue, White Plains Avenue and other major thoroughfares.
By now, everyone is expecting an even denser volume of vehicles on the roads as the Christmas season draws near. We need more creative schemes to ease traffic flow.
Some of those schemes can come from each motorist and it can start with a strong resolve to cut the number of car trips. And for those who want to do more, it can be the mere act of leaving our cars at home at least twice a week (not on our coding days), and taking a walk to the corner to take public transportation.