That Waze survey and the ‘Train to Busan’

By: Stephen D. Capillas September 22,2016 - 09:39 PM

Anyone who experienced Metro Cebu’s traffic, regardless of how horrible it may be to some, may still be surprised by the recent Waze survey that showed Metro Cebu’s roads, streets and traffic to be the most unfriendly to motorists around the world.

Regardless of the methodology they implemented and the results, the fact that the survey sourced as respondents the motorists who have spent days driving through Metro Cebu’s streets in traffic congestion should tell something to the traffic agencies of the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu.

But if the motorists were inconvenienced by the traffic congestion, how much more the hundreds of thousands and even millions of commuters who cannot afford or are unable to drive on their own and had to rely on public transportation to get them through the day.

Whether it be ongoing road and bridge projects and/or the sorry state of infrastructure in Metro Cebu, the excessive number of privately owned vehicles as well as the excessive number of passenger jeepneys and taxis that plow through the streets, clearly something has to be done by the local governments to ease the daily travel pains of commuters, public utility vehicles (PUVs) and the motorists.

Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña was quick to use the results of the Waze survey to lobby anew for the construction of flyovers in Cebu City. But there is something to be said about concrete structures that, while providing PUVs and motorists with something to pass through, occupies a large space of the road and blocks a person’s view of the sky.

But the alternative, road widening and flared intersections as previously proposed by former mayor Michael Rama and civil society groups like the Movement for a Livable Cebu, entails a lot of funding—think billions of pesos–which is something the mayor wants to point out and cites as justification for his argument to build flyovers.

Rep. Raul del Mar of Cebu City’s north district had envisioned a network of seven flyovers that would supposedly solve the city’s traffic congestion but Osmeña wants more flyovers.

The big question of course boils down on how much all of these projects would cost and where to get the funding for it, something which Osmeña always uses to refute the arguments of those against the flyovers and the local officials and groups comprising the Mega Cebu group.

So is it a matter of who gets to secure the most funding or who has the better development plan for Metro Cebu? Would it be too much to ask for both?

Sadly, that’s not the case here since the man who knows a thing or two about raising funds insists on his own way or the highway while those with the most planners and committees have to rely on government to fund their proposals.

* * *

Speaking of transportation, a “little” South Korean film called “Train To Busan” had become somewhat of a local hit in this country despite it being a non-English movie and thus inaccessible to non-fans of Korean telenovelas, music and films.

I noticed that the film’s protagonist is the same lead actor in the Korean TV novela “Coffee Prince” in GMA 7 and that the film’s plot borrows some elements from previous shows and movies on the zombie apocalypse like “World War Z” and “The Walking Dead.”

Anyway, watching the film’s trailer clip on YouTube—I didn’t watch the film since I have an aversion to horror films and shows—I could only imagine how Filipinos, Cebu residents in particular, would deal with a horde of swift, hungry zombies when they are locked smack in the middle of traffic, particularly on either the Fernan bridge or the Mandaue-Mactan bridge.

I hope that the proposed light railway transit (LRT) system for Cebu would be able to stand up to a lot of calamities, including the unlikely zombie apocalypse. But as shown by “Train To Busan”, nothing in this world can prepare oneself adequately from any natural or manmade calamity.

Still, a working train system, even if it’s not a bullet train system like those in South Korea, Japan and other First World countries, would contribute greatly to easing traffic congestion in Metro Cebu.

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TAGS: ACTING Cebu City Mayor Margot Osmeña, cars, Cebu, Cebu City, Cebu City Mayor, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, Japan, jeepney, lapu-lapu, mandaue, mayor Tomas Osmeña, Metro Cebu, Osmeña, PUV, South Korea, Tomas Osmeña, traffic, Train to Busan, vehicles, Waze, zombie movie

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