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Radical Traffic Management Won’t Work in Metro Manila

9:15 pm PHT

The article “Roads Gone Wild” from Wired Magazine explains a very interesting proposition: Remove the signs and all the marks that indicate traffic management from the roads and traffic will flow smoother, accidents will decrease, and heaven will come to earth because everyone isn’t sure where everything is on the road.

Interesting. But I’m quite sure this would fail in the Philippines, especially in Metro Manila. Few drivers and pedestrians follow signs already in place (even if you color the signs screaming pink). Without the signs, general chaos will ensue.

I’m sure you’ve already experienced this: traffic gridlock occurs on a very, very busy intersection because traffic lights are down and all drivers from every direction enter the intersection. It will take an MMDA officer or some good Samaritan to direct drivers to back down or whatever other action is necessary to unravel the mess. While the article proposes that a roundabout (rotunda) is the solution there, there’s no space anymore to make an effective roundabout in many major intersections in the metropolis.

Maybe we could suggest to Chairman Bayani Fernando to invite Mr. Hans Monderman to the Philippines. If he can fix the traffic in Metro Manila, he could fix traffic anywhere else.

In an ironic twist, mayors from India and neighboring countries visited the Philippines to learn traffic management from the MMDA. No comment.

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