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Friday, September 2, 2011

On Road Widening and flyovers

One of the most recent issues today in Cebu is on how to go about the increasing traffic congestion in the city.  One side says that flyovers can help ease the traffic while the other side says the road widening must be the priority. If we live in a perfect world, probably the solution is both.
I am for either of the solutions. We have to recognize that traffic in Cebu is slowly becoming a problem during peak hours. There are several choke points not only in Cebu City but also in nearby cities and towns. It is a good thing that some people try to start projects that will somehow address the issue. Here are some of the things I noticed, that could help our leaders find an effective solution to a growing problem:
1.     2-Lane overpass- When I was living in Manila, the overpasses there are at least 4 lanes. A few years back, my brother told me that Cebu had a flyover. When we passed the said structure, I was so surprised that it was crammed and it only has two lanes. 2 lanes? What if some car stalls in one lane? The overpass would become pretty useless. Instead of becoming a solution, it becomes the source of more congestion. I think all overpasses here are just 2 lanes. Hopefully, our leaders should build infrastructures that will prepare us for much larger and more effective overpasses. 
2.     Incomplete Road widening – Road widening will have a less effect if it is half-baked. I see roads that are widened yet the connecting road is 2 or 4 lanes less.  Examples: Hernan Cortes before San Vicente Village from SM (4 lanes) and H. Cortes after San Vicente Village (2 lanes); Talamban road. This practice causes bottlenecks and will just make the traffic worse. If ever the leader decide to just use widening as their only solution then they should propose to widen all roads in Cebu and that will definitely cost much. 
3.     Traffic lights just after a flyover exit – It is big downer to see a traffic light just after a flyover exit. Flyovers are made for the traffic to skip traffic lights and intersections. It is not ideal to have traffic lights after a flyover. Just imagine during rush hour and you get stuck in an uphill position in a 2 lane flyover.  You are stuck because the ones in front are waiting for a green light.  One example is the flyover in Archbishop Reyes near Ayala.
4.     “Cheaters” going to the flyover entry – One added difficulty of just a 2-lane flyovers is that some vehicles especially jeepneys somehow tries to avoid the queue and just get ahead of the line.
5.     Substandard drainage –  There are more places in Cebu that get flooded nowadays. Floods definitely cause traffic and if the drainage system will not be improved then we can expect more congestion when it rains.
It might be right for the city government to create a road and drainage master plan but I do not like the idea of politicizing this issue. Some people just want a project stopped just to further their ideas. These people should recognize that stopping a project will not help solve anything. We can actually make flyovers and widen roads. Both ideas can exist with each other in fact if both ideas are implemented then the traffic congestion will definitely be a thing of the past. Hopefully, our leaders will get their acts together.