Mayor’s policy gets mixed views

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Thursday, July 3, 2014


CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama’s decision to ban left turns on the Banilad-Talamban corridor got mixed reviews.

Commuters heading to the city center from Banilad and Talamban said their travel time has decreased because there are no vehicles turning left and obstructing the south-bound traffic.

But motorists and those who ride taxis going to Banilad and Talamban complained they now travel farther to get to offices, homes and schools located on the other side of the street.

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Rama said he will revive the Banilad-Talamban (BanTal) Task Force, with businessman Bunny Pages as head, to study the traffic situation in the area.

Pages said he could not yet say how residents and business owners in the area view the policy because they will meet on Friday yet.

Longer

But he said traveling toward the city center from his office in Banilad, across the public elementary school, now takes longer because he has to drive north to Barangay Cabancalan and make a u-turn.

“It's a long stretch and there are no u-turn slots,” he said. “We really need wider roads and jeepney pockets,” he added.

Rama agreed. “We don't need flyovers. We need wider roads, disciplined drivers and cleared sidewalks,” he said.

Talamban Barangay Captain Dario Arcilla said about 50 residents in his village are willing to sell their property to the government for P9,600 per square meter if this is needed to widen the road. The amount is way below the appraised value of P20,000 per square meter for properties along Gov. M. Cuenco Ave.

The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) 7, whose office is located at the intersection of Archbishop Reyes Ave. and Salinas Drive, said it will give up a portion of its grounds to pave the way for the widening of the junction.

Cost

But Tesda 7 Director Rosanna Urdaneta said the City Government will have to shoulder the cost of moving back the perimeter fence of their office compound.

Mayor Rama imposed the no-left-turn policy starting last Tuesday from the corner of Gorordo Ave. to Barangay Talamban proper, or a stretch of about eight kilometers.

Councilor Alvin Arcilla, who represents the north district of Cebu City, said the mayor’s policy merely transfers the traffic congestion. He noted that traffic jam will occur in areas where vehicles are allowed to make u-turns.

“It (policy) just increases travel time,” he said.

He said Sitio Nasipit residents coming from the center of the city now have to drive to M.L. Quezon Ave. in Barangay Cabancalan, where they can make a u-turn, before they can return home.

Students of the University of San Carlos-Talamban Campus in Nasipit, who have cars, also have to do the same if they drive to school from the center of the city.

Arcilla, brother of the Talamban village chief, pointed out that motorists from Bacayan, Pit-os, Guba, Binaliw and other northern mountain barangays of Cebu City come down to the Banilad-Talamban corridor when going to the city center.

He said motorists from northern Cebu add to the traffic volume when they use the Banilad-Talamban corridor to avoid Mandaue City roads that are under repair.

In his State of the City Address yesterday, Rama raised the need for traffic management. He said he wants to improve traffic management in time for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit next year and the International Eucharistic Congress in 2016.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 03, 2014.

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