Test run of new Oro traffic lights in chaos

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014


TO EASE up the road congestion in Cagayan de Oro City, the Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) conducted the test run of the new traffic lights last week, but it received complaints from motorists and passengers who claimed the trial run brought chaos instead.

On Friday morning, August 22, vehicles from Macanhan, Upper Balulang, and those passing by Vamenta Boulevard in Barangay Carmen and at the circumferential road, Rodelsa Circle, in Barangay Macasandig were in long queues.

Drivers became hotheaded while shouting and beeping were heard as the new traffic lights went online at Carmen junction near West City Central School.

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“Grabe, makasapot. I missed my flight because of this. Nobody told us that they were opening the new traffic lights here. To think I woke up early because I know my flight is early, still, I am stuck in traffic because of it (test run),” Marni Yap, a traveler, ranted when asked by Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro while her vehicle got stuck in the traffic.

“They should have informed the public about this. Dili baya sila ang ma-hassle (They are not the ones inconvenienced here),” Yap said.

In Barangay Nazareth, along 15th Street headed toward Cogon market, vehicles and “tri-sikads” were also snarled. Motorcycles were the only ones capable of maneuvering in tiny spaces between trucks, cars, jeeps and “motorelas.”

Motorist Raul Blanco had been stuck for almost two hours before an RTA officer took control and straightened out the traffic congestion. He believes the traffic lights are not ideal for the area.

“It is a small area that does not need traffic lights. I have been passing through here for my whole stay in the city since I only live along the street. There was no traffic at all. Maybe on some occasions, but not this time. Kalas gas, kalas oras gyud. Wala’y ayo (It was a waste of gas and a waste of time. It was useless),” Blanco said.

RTA consultant Jose Edgardo Uy said in a previous interview that they are continually installing traffic lights together with the installation of closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) while holding a dry run during the fiesta season.

Uy welcomed suggestions and comments about the trial run since they can be helpful to the betterment of their services.

“The traffic lights have been activated for testing purposes. We thank all those who sent comments and suggestions. In the afternoon of Friday, August 22, we discussed the comments and suggestions sent to us and asked the contractor in coordination with the RTA to make adjustments to the time settings,” he said.

“I also had my own observations when I passed by several of the newly energized traffic lanterns and there were motorists who did not know where to stop at intersections with new traffic lights. Motorists initially ignored the stopping lines that are parallel to the pedestrian lanes,” he added.

However, the full activation of the city’s new traffic light system has no date yet.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 26, 2014.

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