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Monday, December 4, 2023

Bickering Steel Plates

If you are a regular motorist travelling Epifanio de los Santos Avenue these days, chances are you are always on the lookout for those steel plates that annoyingly dot the almost 24 kilometers of the country’s busiest thoroughfare.

Not only so annoying, these steel plates (almost all of them are exposed with dangerous spikes since they are welded into the road with potholes) also pose safety hazards to both the motorists and their respective vehicles alike.

EDSA should have long been repaired, but the pandemic and the apparent lack of money were the main reasons why we continue to see its dilapidated state.

What we are seeing from time to time are “band-aid repairs” that include those welding of steel plates on potholes. They were installed to cover potholes that have not yet been repaired. The result is the slowing down of traffic especially during rush hours and too many unreported damages to the vehicles that ran over them.

There is this one observation when steel plates littered the roads in the US which does not jive well with what is happening in EDSA these days. “Given their obviousness and potential danger (real or perceived), steel plates play a curious, secondary role on American roads today: calming traffic. As roads become more congested and as drivers traverse them at higher speeds while increasingly distracted by smartphones, steel plates have become an accidental, ad-hoc speed limiting service on our roadways. It’s hardly systemic or strategic solution, and it’s certainly not an attractive one. But as long as we have to put up with steel road plates, we might as well appreciate the small role they can play in encouraging us to use our cars less hastily—and maybe even just less, overall.”

But this is not the case in EDSA with the return of too many cars on the roads after the easing of the Covid-19 lockdown as too many steel plates sprouted like mushrooms that cause real havoc to the motorists.
For how long do we have to endure these dangerous steel plates are yet to be determined.

We would like to congratulate Isuzu Philippines Corporation for achieving another milestone when it celebrated its 25th anniversary here in the country.

That figure (25 years) is just three short of the 22 years that IPC has been lording it over its competitors in the local truck business.

Noburo Murakami, the IPC president who took over the post from the former IPC chief Hajime Koso (who is considered the longest serving Japanese executive in a local car manufacturer) recently, cited the various contributions of IPC in the local economy since it started in 1996.

He even promised that the company is confident “although the road to progress may not be that easy and that our strength may be tested, but with the support of all our shareholders the future of IPC looks bright ahead.”

We were able to ask some quite bold questions at the sideline after the prepared program was finished last Thursday inside the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

When asked if Isuzu would join the “electric vehicle” bandwagon that is now sweeping not only the country but also worldwide, Murakami calmly said: “Isuzu is capable and very much ready to go electric anytime. But there is no demand yet for our vehicles (to go electric).”

Being the leader in the diesel technology for the longest time, Isuzu had already passed the test of time and even promised to serve the Filipino progress for the next 25 years and beyond. Cheers!

The horrendous traffic that happen more often at NLEX and SLEX can be resolved only if the administrators of both expressways would assign a team of ready-to-deploy officers wherever there is a need for them.

A heavy downpour and a “bottleneck” greeted us at the end of the Viaduct as we went back from Clark to Manila recently.

Much to our surprise, not a single traffic officer was assigned there as motorists tried to outmaneuver each other at the intersection where those who were allowed to “counter-flow” met with those who choose to stay at the 2-lane southbound traffic.

Putting in at least one or two traffic officers would surely put sense to this pressure-laden intersection or anywhere where motorists forget to behave.

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