Having discussed some positive prospects for traffic management via additional infrastructure in my previous columnm, it is said the helping manage demand is the other component of traffic management. This involves controlling the use of the limited road space by imposing measures that help limit the use of vehicles.
In many advanced cities with limited space like Singapore, car use is controlled by the imposition of expensive permit and entitlement system. The more cars you own, the higher you pay.
This is in contrast to our system where people are allowed to own cars by virtue of a very affordable system of vehicle registration. Add affordable schemes to buy cars and the vehicle population can multiply.
In Singapore’s case the truth is you really do not need cars to get around. Buses, trains and taxis are easily available and much more affordable so the need to own private cars is not as strong.
That said, the possible launch of the High Priority Bus (HPB) system and other proposed mass transit projects in Davao over the next two years can transport a bigger bulk of citizens and encourage them to use cars less. These can ease traffic further and ensure cleaner and safer transport compared with the current jeepney based conveyances.
Likewise the Mindanao Railway project’s Tagum-Davao Digos phase can encourage residents from Tagum, Panabo and Davao del Sur to go home regularly rather than rent apartments or rooms in the city. This is also expected to ease traffic within Davao as more people are expected to take the train rather than use their own cars to and from Davao City. This train system can also connect with other mass transit systems to ensure smoother commuter flow within the city.
The goal therefore is to reduce the dependence on private car use in Davao.
While waiting for these projects to come online, the following suggestions are proposed to help ease traffic today:
For one, encourage private car ride sharing or car pooling such as grabshare and grab van to enter the city. These allow small groups to use one vehicle especially when coming from places such as subdivisions in Catalunan and Toril, and the new developments in Cabantian and Indangan.
Despite road widening projects the traffic to and from these places is getting worse during the morning and afternoon rush hours. Encouraging residents to share their vehicles may lower the volume of traffic as this allows a good choice for point to point transport for people who would otherwise use their own cars to enter the main city core. This will also reduce the cost of parking in many areas in the city which now imposed paid parking.
Another suggestion from readers is to hold special events in areas where traffic can be managed better such as the Crocodile park or the upcoming sports center in UP Mindanao. This allows crowds to congregate without the impact on traffic that would take place were it held in the city center.
In case you have other suggestions or specific ones for certain areas, please let us know through our facebook page: facebook.com/johntriapage