Cable cars may improve but won't solve Metro Manila traffic: Palafox

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Posted at Aug 15 2022 09:11 AM | Updated as of Aug 15 2022 04:31 PM

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MANILA (UPDATED) – Cable cars may help improve the traffic situation in Metro Manila but won’t completely solve it, an urban planning expert said Monday.

Architect Felino “Jun” Palafox Jr. made the statement when asked about Senator Robinhood Padilla's proposal for the use of cable cars to ease traffic congestion in highly-urbanized cities in the country.

“It will not, it will alleviate the situation, it will not solve the traffic. Kailangan lahat ng transportation modes tingnan na natin (We need to look at all modes of transportation),” he told TeleRadyo.

“Even water transport, matagal na naming na-propose (Even water transport, we have been proposing), like water transport ng Laguna Lake, Pasig River, and Manila Bay, we can interconnect them.”

Palafox noted that the use of cable cars in the country has already been proposed some time ago.

“Marami na po pino-propose (A lot have been proposed), like sa Davao, connecting Davao and Samal Island, even in Boracay and Caticlan, tapos may mga proposal din kami, sa Metro Manila matagal naman na-propose yan. Sa Mountains Provinces to connect with Ilocos Region.”

“Kasi our country may mga communities tayo in sa mga mountain areas so we (had) plans…from the highlands, midlands, lowlands and the coastline,” he noted.

Asked, however, why none of those plans have so far materialized, he replied, “Ah, what can I say? Analysis paralysis, lack of continuity, we need strong political will, visionary leadership with appreciation of good urban planning, design like architecture and engineering.”

“Yun pong medyo kulang sa’tin po ‘no na meron sa ibang bayan po,” he stressed.

(That's what other countries have that we lack.)

Palafox said the construction of a cable car system in the country is a worthwhile investment.

“You know, P1 trillion a year, we are wasting on traffic...kaya, lahat po dapat ng ano, tingnan natin (we need to look at everything). Like yung subway, na-propose yan 1971 pa. Light Rail Transit, kami nagpropose niyan sa, World Bank-funded, Metropolitan Manila, I was the team leader, 1992 we should have completed 8 lines ng Light Rail Transit,” he said.

“Medyo mabagal po tayo. 'Tsaka mahina tayo sa reforms and global trends,” he added.

(We are quite slow and weak when it comes to reforms and global trends.)

Meanwhile, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Task Force Special Operations chief Edison "Bong" Nebrija sees many challenges with the operation of a cable car system in Metro Manila. 

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He hopes authorities will study Padilla's proposal first.

"Marami pong challenges yan pag ilalagay natin sa EDSA (There are many challenges if we put up a cable car system along EDSA). I hope they will look at these challenges muna before implementing it and of course this will pass through the scrutiny of both houses, Congress and Senate, the Committee on Transportation, they might even create a technical working group," he said.

--TeleRadyo, 15 August 2022