YSEALI Urban Planning and Smart Growth – Singapore (Part 2 of 3)

This is a re-share of my experience in a YSEALI Regional Workshop experience in Singapore, and this was originally posted at Rappler X, June 18, 2017. 

“Trapik e.”

No wonder. We complain about traffic but we induce it.

Sadly, this disrespect towards pedestrians is along Buendia, Makati.

“The road is our right.” Yes, and here in the Philippines, we are the number one violators of our own rights.

For six days, I was released from the bondage of daily three-hour traffic standstills. This was the biggest relief from Metro Manila’s urban jungle. Even if my Filipino legs had to endure the twenty thousand or more steps of walkable Singapore.

While transport planning could provide a litany of issues on our daily plight, let me highlight these immediate few:

“We want to change the relationship between you and public transport.” While Singaporeans love the jeepney, and while this vehicle is culturally iconic for our capital city, many of us point to our drivers’ discipline and the terrible smoke-belching that comes with its trips. Moving ahead the crowded street, our option would be the unruly bus, or if we have the blessing of patience and immunity to being squeezed like sardines, then there’s the MRT or the LRT. A few bucks more could give us the taxi, but we complain there are sanitation and, well, respect issues.

Continue reading “YSEALI Urban Planning and Smart Growth – Singapore (Part 2 of 3)”

Traffic solutions in Metro Manila: EDSA in spotlight

“What we’re trying to do [to solve the traffic] is a government approach. But this [traffic] is a community problem. We need to engage all of you, all sectors of society to help solve the problem.” – Cabinet Secretary Jose Almendras

The technical working group solving EDSA's traffic. The group is headed by the Cabinet Secretary.
The technical working group solving EDSA’s traffic. The group is headed by the Cabinet Secretary, seated on the leftmost.

Yesterday, I went to UP Diliman to attend Usad EDSA, a multi-stakeholder consultation spearheaded by the technical working group of Cabinet Secretary Jose Almendras. The forum was a venue for the TWG to present traffic facts, their objectives, limitations, ongoing efforts, and proposed traffic solutions.

With Metro Manila‘s recent carmaggedon, the consistently hellish traffic, and the Filipinos’ desperate complaints on everyday’s traffic perils, the TWG took a look at EDSA, being the major thoroughfare of the metropolitan region.  Continue reading “Traffic solutions in Metro Manila: EDSA in spotlight”