Citizens propose south road design-A A +A
Sunday, August 12, 2012
TO SHOW their concern for the preservation of century-old acacia trees along the road in the cities of Naga and Carcar, a group of concerned citizens urged government agencies to build infrastructure without compromising the environment.
“There is always a balance between development and preservation and one does not necessarily negate the other. In this case, alternatives may be found to preserve the trees while accommodating more traffic,” said Teresa Dosdos Ruelas, head convenor of the Movement for a Livable Cebu.
The group recently made a position paper in response to an ongoing road-widening project from Naga to Carcar that is affecting the century-old acacia trees.
In the group’s position paper, Ruelas said their group has suggested a solution that will allow the road-widening to continue while ensuring the protection of the trees.
The group said century-old trees can be protected by creating green island parks around them and further widening the road to provide an extra lane.
Aside from protecting the century-old trees along the Cebu South Road, the scheme also proposes for the separation of different types of vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
Ruelas explained that the biggest cause of traffic on the Cebu South Road is the mix of various types of fast and slow transportation, such as trucks, buses, tricycles, private vehicles and even bicycles. Such a problem turns routes into accident-prone
areas, Ruelas claims.
They proposed to separate slow-moving vehicles from the fast ones to increase travel speed along the inner lanes.
But aside from accommodating activity within the Cebu South Road, a slow-moving lane will also allow human and pedestrian-friendly environment on the route. With the green island parks in between the slow and fast moving lanes, the scheme also promotes human interaction with the environment.
However, Ruelas admitted that the main disadvantage in the proposal is the construction of a wider road for extra lanes. She believes that providing development along with preserving vital heritage and ecological structures is a challenge to government.
The group believes that the century-old trees along the Cebu South Road provide an enhanced experience especially those traveling towards the southern Cebu towns.
“These trees have grown in place together with the people and have become part of their history where memories and traditions have built-up through the years. It is a heritage, which ought to be preserved for future generations to enjoy. Such are some of the intangibles that are difficult to measure, but are basic elements to establishing a sense of place. These are but a few things that makes for a livable Cebu,” the group said.
Controversy over the proposed removal of century-old acacia trees from Naga to Carcar started when a decayed acacia tree was found cut and abandoned near the portion of the first phase of the project in Barangay Tinaan, Naga City.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 13, 2012.