Owners of business establishments situated in the northern side of the Araneta-Magsaysay flyover in Bacolod City lamented the traffic congestion brought by the new structure in the area.
One of the complainants, who refused to be named, said in a press statement Thursday, January 18 that since the flyover was opened to the public, the traffic in that portion of Araneta Street has worsened.
The complainant said that instead of easing the traffic flow, the flyover caused massive congestion in the northern end, along the area bordered by a large mall, hotel, commercial buildings, wet market and a heavy equipment leasing firm.
The flyover was inaugurated by Secretary Mark Villar of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) last December 19.
The Araneta Street-Magsaysay Avenue flyover, located in the southern part of Bacolod, has a total project cost of P365 million, which was converted into economic construction cost of P321.2 million, using the standard economic conversion factors.
Representative Greg Gasataya had earlier said the flyover is a necessary infrastructure that presents a structural solution to traffic congestion, and will lower road capacities brought about by an urbanizing metropolis.
The complainant said the northern part of the flyover has been a persistent gridlock, even before the construction of the flyover and particularly when the area is flooded after heavy rains.
He said the area in front of the mall and hotel serves as loading and unloading area of public utility vehicles, compounded by the entry and exit of private vehicles to and from the mall and hotel.
“This congestion extends more than a hundred meters further south, near the northern approach of the flyover,” he added.
The complainant noted that the flyover’s northern approach, at 145 meters, is longer by 40 meters than the southern approach at only 105 meters.
“Normally, the approaches to the flyover are of equal length on both sides. It appears that the northern approach was lengthened by the contractor, while the southern approach was shortened, simply to comply with the combined specified length of both supposedly equal-length approaches,” he said.
Executive Assistant Celestino Guara, cluster head on police matters and traffic, Thursday said the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) should disallow vehicles coming from the south from making a left turn going inside the mall, but an ordinance is needed to implement this.
“The ‘no left turn’ should be implemented during peak hours only and more traffic enforcers should be assigned in the area,” he said.
Guara said he will inform the BTAO and the DPWH about the complaint to address the problem.
Superintendent Luisito Acebuche, head of BTAO; Councilor Dindo Ramos, chairperson of committee on traffic; and District Engineer Abraham Villareal could not be reached for comment Thursday.