Frustrated with traffic jam, motorist directs traffic himself
MANILA, Philippines – What happens when drivers don't follow the rules and traffic gets out of hand? It takes someone to step up to bring back some order.
That's just what entrepreneur and civic volunteer Chips Guevara did when he took matters into his own hands in a busy intersection in Metro Manila.
His wife, champion swimmer Akiko Thompson-Guevara, took a Facebook video of the moment Guevara tried to direct traffic and unblock the jam.
In his own Facebook post, he described the traffic situation: “No one was moving. Because everyone was advancing every inch [they] could muster with no one letting the other through such that the traffic got tied up in a knot. The knot got tighter and tighter as more and more cars came to join the gridlock.”
Because the cars had been unable to break free for some time, Guevara decided to step in to get the traffic flowing again. Nevermind that his shorts were soaking wet, after coming from a swimming practice.
Guevara first spoke with several commuters who said they had been stuck for 15 minutes. They then offered him their ideas before he started to work on the problem.
Despite some challenges – getting trucks to back up to make room for other drivers, for example – Guevara was able to bring some order into the chaos. He said many drivers were cooperative, but there were other - motorcyclists and two jeepney drivers in particular - who proved to be more stubborn.
In the post, Guevara recounts encountering a police car occupying an entire lane. He asked the policemen why they were breaking the law and contributing to the problem by blocking traffic. After exchanging some words with the officers, he let them through.
Gridlock is common in the Merville, Parañaque area, mirroring that of much of Metro Manila. But rare is a citizen who goes out of his or her way to help others.
Many netizens commended Guevara for his initiative. One motorist even asked if he was running for senator. Guevara said "no" and smiled. The motorist took a picture with him anyway and drove off.
Guevara ended his post by bemoaning the state of Metro Manila’s traffic. He wrote: “I wonder if we will see all these things improve in our lifetime? Is there hope for our country?”
He told Rappler: "I am no hero (well except to my wife and family) because I was doing what I had to do to get my family home... There was no traffic enforcer coming to help. So I just did what I had to do." – Rappler.com
What are your thoughts on the traffic situation? Do you have any solutions in mind? Share it in the comments section below.