In the two years I have lived in Davao, I have seen an increase in construction in both commercial and residential building. There is a big project coming in that will consist of a business park a shopping mall, condominiums, and hotel. There are other hotels under construction and the plan for two more malls.
There has to be a reason for this increase of construction and that is an increase of businesses and population. With this increase of buildings and population will hugely influence traffic.
Already traffic is getting bad. I remember in the past thinking I can get almost anywhere in the city proper in 10 minutes during off times and maybe 20 at peak traffic times, not any more.
Two day a week, I play bridge not too far away. I am not sure of the distance but with no traffic, I can drive there in approximately 10 minutes. If the game lasts to around 6pm, the traffic is terrible. One night there was an accident and it took me 45 minutes to get home. This past Wednesday was Ash Wednesday. One my trip home I pass two churches. At both with all the people coming and going to get their blessing the traffic was at a standstill. You see, when there is a location where many people need public transportation there is a huge lineup of Jeepneys. They will fill the right lane and as more jeepneys arrive, they will start stopping on the left lane. This causes drivers to take over the left lane of incoming traffic. It took me over an hour to get home.
What worries me is when that new business park, mall and condominiums are built, what will traffic be like then? The main road near me is J.P. Laurel. This road is the main road used from the north end of town to the downtown area. There are already two malls on this road and it is the same road where the two planned malls are to be built. All this added shopping and location for employment will add more jeepney and taxi activity.
I have heard the city government is now requiring new commercial buildings to include a traffic impact plan when filing for a permit. As crowded the city is, there is no place to add more roads or widen the existing. In my mind, the impact report will just say, “we will impact traffic, what do you want me to do?”
At least, I am not employed and can regulate my travel to the light traffic times. I just hope I keep in mind the traffic times.
One friend has his house on the market and is planning to move to the condominiums at the new center. He says living there with the new mall and restaurants planned, he only will need to go down the elevator and shop or eat in the complex and not have to drive anywhere.