Brace for heavy traffic, Citom warns motorists

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Sunday, March 16, 2014


WITH the impending closure of half of Sergio Osmeña Blvd., the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) is asking for cooperation from motorists while suggesting the use of M.J. Cuenco and Gov. Cuenco Aves. Citom operations chief Jonathan Tumulak said the traffic office is ready to implement the rerouting scheme prepared.

When asked how bad traffic is expected to get, Tumulak said in jest, “Mo-smile na lang mi (We will just smile).”

The northbound side of Sergio Osmeña Blvd. in the North Reclamation Area will be closed to vehicles starting on Tuesday, March 18, or exactly a week from the original date of closure.

In the affected parts of the North Reclamation Area (NRA), the alternative routes are: Juan Luna Ave Ext., Jose Briones St., Gen. Maxilom Ave., J.C. de Vera St. and E.S. Baclig St.

There are about 14 intersections in the affected area.

Undermanned

Ideally, Tumulak said, Citom should field two enforcers per intersection. This would mean at least 56 personnel for two shifts.

Citom is undermanned, Tumulak admitted.

The office has 230 field personnel, 26 of whom are assigned to other Citom tasks like apprehending jaywalkers and clamping, towing and impounding vehicles.

There are also 12 enforcers who patrol on Citom multicabs to regulate trisikads and tricycles.

At least 24 others are assigned on mobile patrol to troubleshoot traffic problems like responding to accidents.

The enforcers also have their own jurisdictions; 40 enforcers are assigned in the south district, 30 in the central district and more than 50 in the north.

“But Citom can manage because of communication,” said Tumulak, who refers to the radio communication technology as the most important tool for the traffic enforcers to succeed in the upcoming road challenge.

Completion date

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 will implement the road concreting of the 2.5-kilometer boulevard.

It was supposed to close the entire stretch but after pressure from business establishments in the area and the Cebu City Government, DPWH 7 allowed the work to be done in phases.

The project completion was slated for April 2015 yet but with more pressure employed by Mayor Michael Rama, DPWH 7 and WT Construction aim to complete it by November this year.

Incidentally, Citom Executive Director Rafael Yap also endorsed to the Cebu City Council a board resolution that identified Camp Lapu-Lapu, currently used by the Central Command of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), as an ideal site to develop road networks.

“Camp Lapu-Lapu is situated on a large area straddling Barangays Lahug, Apas and Banilad. (It) is a prime location to develop road networks as alternate access to the congested Banilad-Talamban corridor,” the Citom board resolution passed last November read.

The Citom board sought the conversion of the military installation to civilian use by urging Rep. Raul del Mar (Cebu City, north district) to include the development of Camp Lapu-Lapu in the coverage of the Bases Conversion Development Authority. (JGA)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 16, 2014.

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