The University of the Philippines returned to face-to-face classes last week. That meant many students who have been admitted to the various programs of the university finally set foot on campus. Many, unsurprisingly, drove their own cars or were driven by their parents who themselves may probably were first-timers on campus, too. And given that many students come from middle to upper class families (they are the ones coming from the better schools and more likely to be admitted to UP), it is not surprising that many if not most have cars. The result is vehicles going around the campus even for short trips that could have been made by walking or cycling. Public transportation in the form of jeepneys were also affected as their routes were clogged by private cars. Jeepney users ended up similarly caught in traffic.
The same week, the UP Fair was also held. This was the first UP Fair in 2 years after the lockdowns. The trips generated by activities associated with the Fair contributed to the congestion along the main roads in the campus core. Note that much of the Academic Oval remained closed to traffic and these roads are the widest on campus. Still, portions were open to general traffic including sections to access the parking lot across from Palma Hall.
Will this congestion persist or will it go away eventually? Are a significant part of this actually through traffic? We’ll know very soon for sure once students settle down and realize going around on their cars are not the way to travel around the campus.
[Updates on this later]