The Philippine mid-term elections was a stunner, no doubt. The seats in the Senate have been filled to the dismay of some but to the rejoice of many. Some (fairly) new names have emerged as victors in cities long held by political clans and dynasties. Vox populi, vox dei, as they say.
Vico Sotto, the incoming Mayor of Pasig City, has been making headlines about changes he wants to make with the city long associated with the Eusebios like removing the odd-even scheme and supposed quotas for traffic enforcers. But in an adjacent city, San Juan, another politician has won the mayoralty race: basketball big man Francis Zamora.
Among his many planned platforms and programs for the city, what does Mayor-elect Zamora intend to do about traffic?
In a televised interview with One News, San Juan Mayor-elect Zamora outlined his ideas.
"We will commission a professional traffic study, something I believe should have been done a long time ago." said Zamora in the discussion.
The incoming chief executive of San Juan said that his city is the geographical center of Metro Manila, or the National Capital Region (NCR). He said that there are many motorists who drive on San Juan's roads, often passing through the small city to head elsewhere; a transitory point of sorts, which is why several of the MMDA's Mabuhay Lanes pass through the city.
Zamora said that they will be evaluating -based on the study- what streets could be changed to one-way format and what roads can be opened like Eisenhower Street, but stressed that they need to talk to other cities and coordinate their efforts to come up with a cohesive solution.
The incoming Mayor also cited the issue of street parking in his city, and stressed that he will remove street parking on Annapolis Street which is one of the roads that directly link San Juan (particularly the shopping district of Greenhills) to EDSA.
"You have to strike a balance between development and also the collateral damage this brings to the community," said Mayor-elect Zamora regarding future solutions for traffic in San Juan.
But one of the major traffic issues for San Juan is Ortigas Avenue. The presence of many affluent schools in the area such as ICA, Xavier School and La Salle Greenhills has been a bone of contention particularly with regards to traffic. In the lead up to school dismissal hours, many vehicles with family drivers can be found waiting outside to pick-up students in the afternoon, often causing a bottleneck. The situation is particularly problematic for LSGH given their proximity to EDSA.
"Cars still park and/or wait outside LSGH on a daily basis, on both sides of Ortigas." said one LSGH parent. "Traffic can get very bad. Cars park on one side, and the others are lanes going into LSGH. Sometimes there's only one vacant lane that heads toward Greenhills. Fridays are the worst."
Zamora, however, sidestepped the issue and didn't speak of any measures to address the LSGH-related traffic problems given the spillover effect that traffic has into San Juan. For one, LSGH is technically in Mandaluyong, meaning it's outside San Juan's jurisdiction. Second, well, we couldn't really expect him to speak about it because LSGH, after all, is his alma mater.
Source: One News – The Chiefs