QCOSTARICA – There is no question about it, traffic chaos is part of everyday life in Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM) of San Jose. And with the arrival of the rains, the large volume of vehicles, crashes and a collapsed in the road infrastructure the chaos is made worse.
This past week has been a clear example, drivers spending hours in their cars stuck in traffic.
According to the Policia de Transito (Traffic Police) last Thursday they responded to 106 accidents in a six-hour period.
Felipe Vargas, deputy director of Operations (DDO) at the Polica de Transito, says “we must not forget that the rains causes traffic to go slower and then there’s the added problems of flooding.”
In La Uruca alone – the area of la rotonda and one of the busiest intersection in the GAM – flooded on several occasions last week. Under the Pablo II bridge was virtually a shallow lake. Two blocks north of the Pozuelo factory, residents had to seek shelter from the amount of water and quantity of mud in their community.
But, before we resign into believing there is nothing that can be done, drivers can play an important role in reducing the caos. Here are some tips:
- Avoid being a “miron” (rubbernecking) to catch a glimpse of an accident. Don’t slow down or reduce speed, keep moving.
- Heed to the plate restrictions. Remember Mondays is 1&2, Tuesdays 3&4, Wednesdays 5&6, Thursdays 7&8 and Fridays 9&0.
- Use turn signals. And pedestrians always have the right away.
- At busy intersections make a single file. Cars piling up to cram into one lane makes things worse.
- Make use of technology, like Waze and other digital media, to know where the congestion is and avoid it.
- Don’t block intersections.
- Getting mad accomplishes nothing. Stay calm. Avoid maneuvers made in anger that can endanger you life and that of others.
- Always carry the printed accident reconciliation form to quickly move the vehicles out of the way without the need for a traffic official to arrive at the scene. Of course you are not driving to get into an accident, but in that same frame of though why carry a spare tire?
- Time shift. If your work allows it, leave earlier or later to work or from work. Take note of busy times in your area, go out for errands at off-peak times.
- Don’t drive if you can take public transit. Learn the bus schedules. You will be surprised at the frequency and modern buses. And at low cost. For example, a bus ride from Cuidad Colon (through Santa Ana, Escazu and La Sabana) to La Coca Cola area costs less than ¢500 colones.
Use the comments section below or post to our Facebook page your recommendations to help reduce the chaos.