ILOILO City – Congestion at the intersection of two major roads – Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue and President Corazon Aquino Avenue – in Barangay Ungka II, Pavia, Iloilo is testing the patience of drivers and commuters.
It gets worse during rush hours from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., especially during Mondays and Fridays, according to George Hinosa, driver of Quarry taxi.
Vehicles move at a snail’s pace, he lamented, wasting some 20 precious minutes of passengers who are mostly employees and students fearful of being late reporting for work or school, or late in going home.
The intersection is also where people going to the Iloilo Airport pass.
“Kaso wala ka mahimu,” Hinosa told Panay News.
Student Ruby Ann Camacho of Cabatuan, Iloilo confirmed this.
“Daad mapangitaan man sang gobyerno sang solution. Affected kami nga nagalabay dira adlaw-adlaw,” said Camacho, a second year college student at Western Institute of Technology in La Paz, Iloilo City.
Hinosa believes the big volume of vehicles is causing the traffic congestion.
The traffic light installed and traffic auxiliaries manning the intersection could only do so much, according to Hinosa who had been driving taxis for a decade.
Perhaps a flyover would ease the traffic congestion, he suggested.
According to Jacob Sarabia, driver of a van plying the Calinog – Iloilo City route and vice versa, “Halos adlaw-adlaw naga-ugtas ang mga pashero.”
He wondered what’s causing the congestion, noting that both the Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue and President Corazon Aquino Avenue each has four wide lanes.
“Way ako kabalo kon ano himuon,” Sarabia told Panay News.
But he suggested lengthening the intersection traffic light’s “go” periods especially for vehicles using the Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue in going to or leaving Iloilo City.
According to Sarabia, the volume of vehicles going to or leaving Iloilo City using the Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue is far bigger than those using the President Corazon Aquino Avenue.
In fact, he said, vehicles queuing due to the traffic congestion would sometimes stretch to as far as Barangay Sambag, Jaro.
Drivers, too, are at the losing end of this traffic congestion, according to a driver of an Ungka -Jaro CPU passenger jeepney.
They waste so much fuel and lose time to pick up more passengers, said the driver who only wanted to be identified as Doods.
The effect, he said, is less collection or income for the day.
Doods agreed that a flyover could be the most effective solution to the traffic congestion.
In fact, he said, such plan was publicized a few years ago. He wondered what happened to it.
“Mas maayo butangan nila flyover para deretso ang dalagaan sang salakyan kon makasaka sa babaw. Minimize ang traffic,” said Doods.
For his part, passenger jeepney driver Ernie Lozarita plying the Lambunao – Iloilo City route and vice versa said, “Mabudlay gid kon adlaw sang Biyernes kag Sabado. Grabe gid. Halos 20 minutos kami nagaka-ipit dira.”
Aside from the huge volume of vehicles crisscrossing the intersection, he also blamed the traffic light which he said would malfunction every now and then.
He urged concerned authorities to fix the traffic light and also called for the construction of a flyover in the area.
“Halos sang katunga gid sang mga salakyan ang mabuhin sa traffic kay ti maagi man iban sa flyover,” said Lozarita./PN