MANILA (Mabuhay) — Sen. Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday said opening up private roads inside gated subdivisions would do little to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
Instead, he proposed for the Department of Transportation to go against illegally parked vehicles on city streets so traffic could be diverted there.
“Remove illegally parked vehicles in the entire Metro Manila and you’ll practically solve 50 percent of the traffic problems,” he said, interpellating Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade during a Senate committee hearing on giving emergency powers to President Rodrigo Duterte to solve Metro Manila’s traffic woes.
In his speech at the hearing, Tugade bared plans to convince homeowners associations to allow traffic to be diverted to their roads with assurance that their subdivisions’ security would not be compromised.
Sotto, however, was apprehensive over the idea. “Siguro mas maigi pag-aralan niyo muna ang pagbukas ng city streets,” he told Tugade.
Sotto mentioned community-based traffic and navigation mobile application Waze to demonstrate how viable city streets could be to help ease traffic congestion.
“Waze will not tell you to pass by EDSA. He will give you city streets. It’s good kaya lang di alam ni Waze na ginawang parking lot iyon ng mga kababayan natin,” he said.
Sotto urged Tugade to concentrate more on clearing city streets of illegally parked vehicles than opening private subdivisions.
“Itong mga kalsada sa Metro Manila, may right tayo doon kaya lang hindi natin magamit,” he said. “Kaya walang dumadaan kasi ginawang parking, left and right.”
Sotto said Singapore has no traffic problems because parking on the streets is prohibited and vehicles are only allowed to park in designated parking lots.
He also shared Sen. Richard Gordon’s observation thatg vulcanizing shops and basketball courts aggravate traffic on city streets.
“That is our right of way. You don’t need to open Dasmarinas Village, etc. Kung Forbes bubuksan natin, wala din, sa Forbes ka din lalabas. Sino tinulungan mo? Pinerwisyo mo lang ang nasa loob. Why think of that?” Sotto said.
Tugade assured Sotto that he would consider his suggestion. He said they would “put greater emphasis on city streets along the lines of ‘bayanihan.’ That will be greatly considered.”
The Transportation secretary, however, clarified that Sotto’s suggestion would not be implemented under the present situation. “Kailangan namin ang special emergency power,” he said. (MNS)