WHEN Jojo Binay was MMDA chairman, he vowed to dismantle every bus terminal on EDSA. If Rambotito could not do it then, who could, or would, when?
When it was Francis Tolentino’s turn, he said the 52 terminals strewn along EDSA were a major headache for motorists and MMDA. A few weeks ago, we heard it said that those 52 had bloomed to 60 or more.
Before Congress grants emergency powers to the President and the Department of Transportation to solve the traffic on EDSA, before we line up the funds for humongous projects, the lawmakers could consider doing a few doable things first, now – why wait for 2019? Do it, today, not before Christmas and not after January-December 2017.
For starters, try removing those bus terminals. What the mighty Binay and innovative Tolentino could not do, can a camera flying inside a drone untie the Gordian knot that is EDSA? Honestly, will a plane that looks like a toy get traffic moving down below when an accident has happened or a gridlock is developing as floodwaters rise?
Wouldn’t it be hilarious to legislate emergency powers just to remove a score of shabby-looking bus stations? Might as well use those powers to stop the rain.
Are special powers needed to dispatch buses according to a rational schedule, for their own good? To deploy real policemen instead of now-you-see-them, now-you-don’t HPG? To ask residents of private subdivisions to open up their streets? (Five years ago, before emergency powers were a gleam in any politician’s eye, we woke up to see our quiet little street swamped by vehicles of all makes because MMDA and the mayor had allowed them entry.) Special powers to run after a bus that straddles two and a half lanes, stops anywhere anytime, changes lanes in the wink of an eye, races with the competition just to pick up one passenger?
Special powers to remind contractors they have no right – no right! – to dilly-dally and delay their “tiwangwang” projects after they have dug up a street? As fans of Brangelina will tell them, “Walang forever!” (Jullie Y. Daza)