Why So Much Traffic?

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Posted

The family had arranged a lunch get together at Matabunkay Beach the day after our arrival.  The beach is about 120 kilometers from Metro Manila.  It use to take us a little over 2 hours to get there.  We hired a car and driver for 10 hours at a cost of P4,900 including toll road charges and gasoline.  The time lapse was 4 hours to get to the beach, two hours to have lunch, and 4 hours to get back to our hotel.  The driver was very good at weaving in and out of traffic, and using side roads whenever there was a bottleneck.  Drive time averaged 30 kilometers per hour.  

Why so much traffic?  It has increased tremendously since our last visit.  Friends gave us various explanations.  One owns an advertising agency and Toyota Motors Philippines is a major account.  He explained that Toyota alone sells 180,000 units a year.  That's nearly 500 vehicles per day.  Passenger cars account for 60,000 or more than 1,000 units a week.  Out of the 1,000 passenger cars a week, 700 are sold in Metro Manila.  Kilometers in new road construction?  Zero.

Another explanation is the popularity of Grab and the availability of car financing.  A lot of investors thought this was a good way to make money.  The increase in ride sharing is exponential, but there are no places to park them while waiting for the next customer.  So the Grab cars slowly go around in circles.  This adds to the traffic congestion.  By the way, the number of taxis have not diminished even with the popularity of Grab.

Someone else explained that the previous way to avoid clogged main streets was to use the side roads.  However, many homes were not designed to accommodate vehicles.  New prosperity and increased car ownership means the side roads are being used for parking.  Sometimes there is only one lane for a two way side road.  

One solution is to stay at home.  Those living in Alabang wanted us to visit them.  They even offered to send us a car and driver.  We refused.  "See you next time."  Others came to our hotel or we met at a nearby restaurant that was within walking distance.  

The added misery is for those taking public transport.  There has been no improvements, only empty political promises.  Several staff members at the hotel told me their commute now averages 3 to 4 hours in each direction.  
 

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Posted

The Manila clearing team goes out daily to regain the roads and sidewalks. As soon as it clears and they move on the vendors put back everything and start again. This goes on for about 3 times and they start confiscating the vendors goods which has some effect but until they can ever stop these vendors l doubt if much will change.

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Posted

As a Cebu visitor for over 20 years now I've seen traffic go from bad during rush hour to be unmanageably bad from 7AM to after 8PM in the Cebu City area. Total gridlock in some places started taking place a bout 5 years ago.

Very few new roads. Jeepney's. Poor driving habits. Jeepney's. Collisions, or parked cars blocking lanes. Jeepney's. Too many new cars and new drivers. And F'ing Jeepney's.

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Posted
1 hour ago, JJReyes said:

availability of car financing.

IMHO that is the primary cause, just to many cars.  Then add the lack of infrastructure to the mix and the inability to quickly implement improvements. 

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Posted (edited)

Coding is a big part. Most families where I live now have 2 or 3 cars, which means more family members can drive, its had the opposite effect they wished for, plus throw in the local coding like Pasig, of odd and even numbers, only way to guarantee a car availability is 3 cars, which means the other family members who once had to get public transport, or wait for the car to come free, now have one at there disposal. 

Edited by Mick
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Posted

Reading this makes me grateful for the traffic in Cagayan De Oro (didn't think I'd ever say that!).

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Posted

Wondering if December plays a part. We are regular visitors to Bacolod and unable to remember such traffic before. Seems every road is totally chocked, be interested compare in January when people  have  less or no money.

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Posted

I wonder if the motorcycle rules play a part, at least in Dumaguete.  I notice my next door neighbors (Filipinos) are doing the same as me.  We both own a car and a motorcycle but it is a pain to dress up in long pants, find the helmet, and wear shoes instead of flip flops to take a trip into town.  Thus I notice that we, and they, use the car almost all the time now.  The convenience of hopping on the motorcycle is just not there anymore.  The motorcycles on the road may be a pain, but replace them with cars and you have more traffic.

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Posted

Here in Cavite..Imus, Bacoor, Dasmarinas, Kawit, Noveleta area the traffic is getting worse. So many brand new cars on the road. Almost every major intersection has the guys selling corn and water to the cars that are backed up. Sat. is the worst. Sun. is the best if we need to go somewhere more than an hour away.

It's only going to get worse with all of the new chain stores popping up all around us and the new 4 lane roads that they built inevitably end up at 2 lane bridges.

I still love it here though. I've learned to roll with the punches. :6:

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Posted

Two years ago when we first settled here our short drive to our daughters school would take between 15-20 minutes depending on traffic.  We now have to give ourselves at least one hour due to traffic.  Today  I left the house at 1:30 this afternoon to pick up our daughter from school.  This is Friday and she gets out at 2:30.  Arrived at the school 2:45!  Drove straight home without stopping.  Got to the our house just about 5PM.   Its more fun in the Philippines. :6:

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