Traffic conditions are quite unpredictable especially here in Manila. Usually, traffic congestions happen during rush hour. In some places, traffic could be horrible and it could take you 30 minutes or so just to trek a mile. However, it’s understandable because of the number of people trying to get to work especially towards commercial districts especially on regular working days.
Another reasonable cause for traffic congestion is road construction. If 2 lanes of a 3-lane road are closed for repairs, the cars would have to slowly pass along the remaining lane that is open. If, unfortunately, an accident happens, the other drivers would usually slow down or give way especially for emergency vehicles or cops. But then, there are traffic congestions that are quite senseless. When you reach the point where the road clears, you’ll just wonder what in the world happened. Here are some of them.
Jeepneys are the most common public transports here in Manila and there are lots of instances when they cause traffic. They sometimes stop anywhere (yes, even in the middle of the road) just to pick up or let passengers alight. They take 2 to 3 lanes while waiting for passengers and sometimes, they leave just 1 lane for private vehicles. They have a noble job but I’d say it isn’t quite so when they’re already disturbing others. Sadly, there are a lot of bad jeepney drivers and unfortunately, they really have a bad reputation. And need I say more about public buses?
Here’s another really irritating cause of traffic jams. In places where there’s filming either for a movie or for a TV show or something, drivers somehow are drawn to them like insects to a bright light. They drive really slow in front of the set trying to look for a famous person and they sometimes make a full stop causing traffic behind them. If it’s a really huge movie and the set is quite big, so does the traffic jam it causes.
And sometimes, there’s really no reason at all. Let me give you an example. While driving on EDSA (main thoroughfare here in Manila) with my family, we experienced a really heavy traffic jam from the EDSA Shrine (famous landmark). After about 2 kilometers and 45 minutes, as soon as we got off the bridge at Cubao (shopping center) the road suddenly clears. I was really irritated seeing that there was nothing wrong and the cars just drove really slowly until that part.
One thing that makes heavy traffic much worse are those drivers who keep on changing lanes hoping for their lane to move faster. When they see another lane moving faster, they’d force their way to that lane. I mean, come on!
Another common instance that usually initiates a heavy traffic jam is rain. It’s understandable if the downpour is moderate to heavy since everybody should take utmost care. But what’s puzzling is when it drizzles for around 30 seconds or so, the traffic suddenly slows down.
Well, most of the time, what really affects traffic are discipline and consideration. If you have to do something, pull over. If you know you’d be the cause of traffic, move away. If you see something interesting, again, pull over. Don’t stop in the middle of the road. If there’s nothing wrong with the road then drive for crying out loud. Oh well, if you’re in a traffic jam, you really can’t do anything much about it. Either you stay there or find an alternate route. And, try to stay calm.