Traffic in Manila is probably the worst in the world - it is hell. If anyone complains about traffic in New York, Los Angeles, Rome etc, he or she should visit Manila because nothing compares to Manila traffic.
The reason why is simply because of the population almost doubling in the past 20 years. As a result, there are more drivers and more vehicles fighting for space on mostly old-narrow roads and highways. The saying "if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere" applies if one were to drive in Manila.
Old and dilapidated vehicles such as jeeps, buses and tricycles add to the problems of congestion and pollution. Also, undisciplined drivers cause gridlock - U-turns on main thoroughfares make no sense. A modernization plan is needed where drivers can easily exit, cross a bridge over the freeway/highway and enter the other way. You'll know what I'm talking about once you're in Manila.
Pollution, such as smog, is a major issue in the city. Old vehicles belch fumes and smoke so avoid taking old public transport without air-conditioning and windows. Community efforts are gaining momentum to clean up so as to beautify the city. Streets are generally clean although certain sections in, around and outside Manila seem neglected, such as railroad tracks, rivers and, of course, the squatter areas in certain districts of Metro Manila.
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