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Rough Cuts | Create a traffic-free Davao City

One of the priorities of the administration of Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio is to address the burgeoning traffic congestion of Davao City. This priority is very well-thought of, and doable.

No one can ignore the fact that Davao City is economically and structurally growing by leaps and bounds. What with its fine weather, abundant natural resources, stable power and water supply, telecommunications facilities, capable manpower, and of course supportive local government policies. Thus, the city becomes a magnet to investors, and consequently job seekers.

Its pull to all kinds of businesses — from large, medium and small — started to become even much stronger with its former mayor Rodrigo Duterte already President of the Philippines for the last three years. So, Davaoenos can expect that in only a short period of time all the more that Davao City booms and blooms.

Of course one of the consequences of the current level of the city’s development is traffic congestion that people are already experiencing in almost all critical hours of the day.

For now the traffic situation is still tolerable compared to that of Metro Manila or Cebu City even if travellers are already gritting their teeth during rush hours. But there is this one good reference for the new city administration to consider. According to Peter F. Drucker, a contemporary guru in marketing and management, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

Having included the traffic situation in her priorities there is certainty that Mayor Inday is very much aware that the present vehicular congestion in the city’s major thoroughfares is a foreboding of the road scenarios in the years to come — no, not later but sooner.

So the responsibility to “create” the future of Davao City’s traffic situation, not just to “predict” it, lies solely in her hands. And sure it would not be difficult for her to make the choice because the present vehicular congestions in city roads are enough inputs for the lady mayor to know what is going to happen to the city should she not do preemptive measures to arrest the fast developing problem.

This term of hers, is the most appropriate time to implement lasting solutions to the evolving traffic monster. With her father in Malacanang, and with a Sangguniang Panlungsod peopled with a hundred percent her party mates, Mayor Sara is assured to get their support for any big ticket infrastructure projects needed to stop on track the “Metro Manilanization” of Davao City.

So we are not anymore surprised that Mayor Sara has now picked to have such infrastructure projects as the proposed coastal highway, the second diversion road cutting across the city’s suburban perimeters, the JICA-assisted by-pass road that will run parallel the present C.P. Garcia diversion highway with tunnel components implemented in her city. Hopefully, too, the possibility of having the Mindanao Railway system Phase I realized within the remainder of the term of her father President.

And yes, Mayor Inday’s administration is about to implement the Rapid Bus Transport System which, if properly done, could be the traffic problem’s more immediate although shorter-term solution. But even as this scheme is evolving there are already attendant problems that have surfaced as its consequences.

Primarily the Rapid Bus Transport system will displace thousands of public utility jeep drivers who are making their daily living by transporting commuters. The same solution will also negatively impact on the people who are operating PUJ franchises.

All these are projects will definitely decongest the present entrance and exit roads to and from the city’s downtown areas, not add to the number of vehicles passing through them going to the main business districts.

Moreover, the infrastructure projects that are in the works, or are about to be started, are long-lasting solutions, not palliatives like the vehicle numbers coding scheme being implemented in Metro Manila.

Indeed with all odds in favor of Mayor Inday Sara’s present term, she can very well predict a traffic-free Davao City in the very near future. But she has to create it herself.

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