More, please!

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By Andy H. Hagad

Bottom Line

Friday, January 17, 2014


WHAT a little exercise of political will can accomplish! Tuesday morning, at around 11 o’clock, I drove by the Bacolod Central Market just to see if Mayor Puentevella’s promised action against illegal vendors really happened. I was a little disappointed when from a distance I could still see some of the multi-colored giant umbrellas that those illegal stores-on-wheels popularly used.

It was when I was already in the middle of Gatuslao Street in front of the market that I realized that the road in front of me was clear of the downtown traffic that I have always come to expect. There were cars and jeepneys, yes; but all were moving smoothly and there was none of the bumper-to-bumper movement that has been the trademark of the Bacolod Central Market traffic.

In the afternoon, at around 5:30 p.m. I drove across the intersection of Rosario and Lacson Streets to pick up Blandy, my wife. I do this almost daily and at around the same time. Almost daily I endure the long lines of vehicles with harried drivers that the equally-harried enforcer tries to unsnarl. Lo and behold, traffic was moving smoothly too, and the volume of vehicles was a lot less than usual.

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If I have the same experience today, I can only conclude that the city administration’s campaign against illegal vendors, and the policy of granting the legitimate ones a limited space outside of the streets is producing better results than just widening the road space for cars and jeeps to pass.

During the afternoon peak hours, the gridlock along Lacson Street gets aggravated by jeepneys coming from Luzurriaga Street and crossing Lacson. Traffic at the Central Market portion of Luzurriaga builds up when the vendors choke the road. This build-up of jeepneys spills over to Lacson Street, which then causes the vehicles along Lacson to also build up.

With a better spread of jeepneys coming out of the public market area, movement at the intersection of Luzurriaga and Lacson streets seem to have flowed faster, too.

Now that the roadways have been given back to the vehicles and the sidewalks returned to the pedestrians, we hope the city government shifts its focus to more driver and pedestrian discipline. That should naturally follow the way “A” naturally follows “B.”

This has been a great start for our city in 2014. Thank you, but more of these please, Mayor Newks and our city officials.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on January 17, 2014.

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