Costs of bad management

April 18, 2012 at 11:42

This is a re-posted opinion piece.

Last Saturday, I found myself observing the flow of traffic at a key intersection in Ortigas Center from atop a nearby 42-story building. Traffic from one particular direction was inordinately clogged compared to the flows from the other directions. And yet traffic volume from the other directions was no less heavy than that coming from the badly congested side. Traffic enforcers at the intersection—who had apparently decided to override the automatic traffic lights and were manually controlling traffic instead—were simply not giving enough “go” time to this particular side of the crossing. It’s as if they were unduly “biased” in favor of the traffic coming from the other directions.

Two things crossed my mind as I observed all this. One, how often have we seen it happen that when traffic enforcers decide to take things into their own hands and override the traffic lights, traffic flow invariably seems to get worse? That seemed to be happening again in this particular instance. Two, I wondered how much smoother traffic flows would be if traffic enforcers on the ground had the benefit of being guided through wireless communication by colleagues with an aerial overview of traffic flows, thereby seeing where the bottlenecks are. The latter can be provided by CCTV cameras, helicopter-borne traffic monitors, or even traffic officers deployed atop tall buildings in high-traffic areas, just as I was last Saturday.

How I wished then that I had a way of telling the enforcers below what they were doing wrong, as it was all so clear from my vantage point. In the end, sheer mismanagement had caused a traffic jam that seemed completely avoidable. How many times have we found ourselves getting stuck in a traffic backup and seeing, upon passing the bottleneck, that better management (say, of undisciplined bus drivers hogging lanes at a bus stop) could have prevented it all? I wish our Metro Manila traffic office would employ more proactive ways of coordinating traffic management on the ground, like having them informed and guided in real time by traffic monitors with a bird’s eye view.

Read the full article:
By: Cielito F. Habito – No Free Lunch
Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 16, 2012
To view the original article, click here.

Subscribe to the Arangkada NewsRoom via RSS

Subscribe to the Arangkada NewsClips

All rights to the stock images are owned by Getty Images and its image partners and are protected by United States copyright laws, international treaty provisions and other applicable laws. Getty Images and its image partners retain all rights and are available for purchase by visiting gettyimages website.
Arangkada Philippines: A Business Perspective — Move Twice As Fast | Joint Foreign Chambers of the Philippines