News Says Traffic Armageddon to Start Tomorrow

Is it even possible? In its current state, I can't even begin to imagine how it could be worse. I mean, what could possibly be worse than EDSA on rush hour? But then just now, I just saw the headline Traffic Armageddon in Metro Manila Starts Monday trending on my news feed. This is, of course, due to a centrally planned infrastructure project that will be completed by 2016 (so they say).

I recently had an interesting conversation with an ad exec about how building roads over Pasig river could solve traffic in Metro Manila. I guess so. I'm not denying that it's possible. But you see, this kind of approach is a treatment and not a cure.

I've actually discussed this and my other thoughts on Metro Manila traffic on a previous post: Treatment Vs Cure: My Two Cents on the MMDA Coding Scheme Controversy. I highly recommend that you read that post first before this one as I've probably addressed several aspects regarding traffic that I don't want to repeat here. I want my approach for this post to be more philosophical in nature -- to give you guys something you can reflect about while you're dazed and confused in tomorrow's post-apocalypse EDSA.

Just a few days ago, I heard news of LTFRB questioning the legality of technologies that aid in solving this social issue. Tripid, for instance, wants to help people connect and carpool (I actually mentioned this app in my Treatment Vs Cure post linked above) -- this could help decrease traffic volume and solve several other social issues as well. You'll really see how disconnected the bureaucrats are. It only makes sense when you realize that their mandate is to protect their monopoly on the specific industry they were appointed to regulate.

In a previous post about my Grab Taxi app experience I said:
"No policing or authority of the LTFRB, no amount of budget we ever gave them, ever guaranteed me or any of us the security of life, liberty, and property all of which are supposedly the role of government. No -- it came from a bunch of really smart programming coders, creative designers, ambitious and competitive marketers and entrepreneurs."
Public projects are usually cloaked with a noble intention (for this one, it's the promise of less volume of traffic and of better infrastructure) while technological solutions that emerge from the private sector are tainted because of the incentive of voluntary profit. There is something to rethink here about the role of government and the benefits of a competitive marketplace.

Now, will this project even solve the heavy traffic concerns in Metro Manila? I'd say sure, it's possible. But for how long? And at what price? And which cronies will we and the next generations have to repay for this potential bridge to nowhere? What's the say of the taxpayers outside Imperial Manila? And more importantly, is this a treatment or is it a cure?

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