Baguio open to PPP to address traffic

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Monday, January 6, 2014


TRAFFIC congestion and the lack of parking areas during the tourism peak season can only be addressed through a multi-level parking system eyed by the Baguio City Government at the Old City Auditorium.

Mayor Mauricio Domogan in his Ugnayang Panlungsod program Thursday said the city government is preparing the terms of reference for a Public-Private Partnership for a multi-level parking system to help reduce vehicles parked on roads beside Burnham Park.

Domogan said this after bumper to bumper traffic greeted tourists in roads leading to various destinations after more than 500,000 people flocked to the city during the Christmas and New Year’s Day break.

The mayor stressed police assistance alone cannot address bottlenecks in road intersections citing Baguio has limited road widths to occupy vehicles while the lack of available parking spaces is a problem faced both by residents and tourists.

Traffic congestion resulted to 30 minutes to more than two hours congestion in areas such as Leonard Wood Road, Magsaysay Avenue, Session Road, Harrison Road and South Drive.

The city mayor also hopes the parking area planned by SM in its Luneta Hill property will push through after a court case filed by environmentalists hampered the completion of the project.

The local government has been exploring ways to reduce traffic in the city with a recent Memorandum of Understanding forged with the Department of Science and Technology in coming up with a mass transit system or a road train system in Magsaysay Avenue and at the Central Business District.

Other plans being eyed by the Traffic and Transport Management Committee for adoption in the city include "pedestrianization" of Session Road, mass transit system and experimental traffic schemes to further ease up the traffic situation in the city initially built for 25,000 people but have ballooned to 300,000 people through the years.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on January 07, 2014.

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