Other possible solutions for Manila traffic other than cable cars

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A typical rush-hour scene on EDSA. This year;s quake drill will be done at 4pm, and include scenarios besides earthquakes, especially fire suppression. MMDA said it's also the first time the drill takes 4 days. INTERAKSYON FILE
Vehicles of all kinds fill EDSA at rush hour. INTERAKSYON FILE PHOTO

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has once again floated the idea of installing cable cars around Metro Manila as the solution to the growing traffic problem.

Despite positive results from cable car projects in other countries, not all Filipinos are convinced that Tugade’s vision is the cure the nation has been hoping for.

Fears and jeers

The idea has been met with some skepticism. An echoed concern is what should be done in the event the system malfunctions and a carriage is left suspended up in the air.

Others have questioned why the Department of Transportation’s proposed solution is to introduce a new system rather than to fix the already existing transport options.

Adjacent to this is the question of whether the government could implement a new project when it has failed to address already existing concerns.

One story that has surfaced is that of a cable car project in a rural area that was eventually abandoned.

Despite skeptics’ concerns, some believe in positive action and hope for proper implementation of what could be the solution everyone has been praying for.

Proposals throughout the years

In February 2018, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, or JICA, reported that the severe traffic in Metro Manila is costing the Philippines P3.5 billion in missed economic opportunities.

Susumu Ito, JICA’s chief representative to the Philippines, explained that successful implementation of the government’s Build, Build, Build program could cut losses to P3 billion daily. With a few more projects, the figure could be cut the figure down to P2.4 billion.

A number of proposed projects have been marketed in recent years as the solution to the traffic problem.

Sangley Integrated Complex

In December 2016, the All-Asia Resources and Reclamation Corp. proposed the construction of a massive industrial and export complex on reclaimed land off the coast of Sangley Point in Cavite. Both a seaport and airport are slated to be built on the developed land.

The consortium that proposed the complex claimed that the complex could keep up to 8,000 trucks and 40,000 cars off Metro Manila daily.

Open villages, subdivisions

One of the ideas Secretary Tugade introduced alongside the cable car project was the opening of exclusive subdivisions to outside vehicles so as to provide motorists other routes apart from already crowded highways.

Architect and urban planner Jun Palafox in an interview with ANC in 2015 proposed a similar concept, explaining that exclusive villages should be opened to the driving public during rush hour.

One-way EDSA, Roxas, C-5 

Rep. Edgar Mary Sarmiento (Samar) in September 2017 foreseeing the massive traffic the Build, Build, Build project would cause proposed that three of the metropolis’ biggest highways, EDSA, Roxas Boulevard and C-5 road be made one-way highways during the course of the project.

Sarmiento, also a civil engineer, suggested the EDSA be made a southbound highway while C-5 and Roxas be assigned as the northbound thoroughfares.

New bridges, flyovers

Columnist Boo Chanco in August 2016 wrote about receiving a list of Tugade’s initial ideas as incoming transportation chief.

Among these were the construction of new steel bridges and flyovers around the metropolis.

Among his proposed structures were a new flyover connecting Katipunan Avenue to C-5 road and an extension of the C-6 road connecting Pasig to Taguig.