It’s the first day of summer, and I am currently stuck in traffic on a hot and humid day. I am impatient and hungry, and because I am hungry I am grumpy. And because I am grumpy I write down this blog and pour my heart out on my frustrations with my wasted productivity because of this damn traffic. Why can’t Cebu be more consistent?
The day before, we spent my mother’s birthday in beautiful Mactan under the sun and palm trees with a piña colada in hand, and I reveled with passion at how beautiful Cebu is. Now, I curse with equal ardor at how horrible Cebu City is. Every year, Cebu is turning more into Manila (and that’s not exactly a compliment). Do you know that we spend 3 years in our lifetime just sitting in traffic? I don’t know how true the stats are, but since I heard this on Boys’ Night Out so it must be absolute truth.
It is dismaying to note that my daily commute to work that would have been a 15-minute walk is now a 45-minute drive. Choosing the option to walk is a death-defying feat–pedestrians in Cebu pose the daily risk of either getting run over or dying from vehicular air pollution, whichever precedes. Even pedestrians had run for their lives when crossing on a pedestrian lane. Instead of the government pouring in billions to make more ugly overpasses and road widening projects, I wish they would rather build a workable skywalk system. Instead of CITOM creating more ‘No Left Turn’ rules on the road, we should stop thinking of short term band aid solutions. We don’t need more cars. We don’t need to worsen Cebu’s already horrible road traffic congestion. we need a change of lifestyle–a shift from car culture to a more pedestrian way of life.
I live nearby USC-TC and commute on that Highway to Hell road everyday, (Banilad-Talamban). If I had the option to walk it would take me 15 minutes but since I drive to CAFA it takes me approximately 30-45 minutes to get there. If there was a skyway system that connects all the buildings together from Gaisano Countrymall, BTC, my house (haha), UV Gullas, Sprockets Cafe (hahaha) and up to USC-TC, that will provide thousands of commuters a safe avenue to walk to their destination. (It’s a long stretch of skywalk and pretty ambitious, I admit, but a girl can dream).
An intricate skywalk system around Metro Cebu can give people the option to walk safely from the cars and from the weather. Development of skywalks can decrease traffic congestion, reduce vehicular air pollution and increase road safety. A faster alternative route to work or school increases the citizens’ productivity, and in turn, increase the profitability of our economy.
Currently, our skywalks are notorious for its grime and perpetual smell of urine, or the homeless and street vendors occupying it. It’s ugly and dusty. No one actually uses it. But if we take notes from other cities’ skywalk systems (like Makati and Hong Kong), it could make our whole lives a lot easier.
I am not an urban planner nor any person of authority. But it just takes a bit of common sense (and a sincere heart) for the government to see the right solutions for a more livable Philippines. What are your own solutions in improving the worsening traffic congestion in Cebu?