Country Mall to lose its left turn slot after accident

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Thursday, July 17, 2014


CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama wants to stop allowing vehicles to turn left to Talamban from a shopping mall in Banilad after a motorist hit the traffic enforcer assigned there.

City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) enforcer Theresa Bascones, 38, died Wednesday after she was hit by a Hyundai Tuscon driven by businesswoman Sun Kyung Heo, 48.

Heo was on her way out of Gaisano Country Mall and turned left going to Talamban area when she hit the traffic enforcer.

Bascones suffered severe head injuries, resulting in death.

In his regular news conference yesterday, Rama said the left turn rule in the shopping mall should be stopped.

“That area is a problem. Sa view sa traffic enforcer, naay mo-left turn diha, naa pod mo-right turn (The enforcer has to watch those turning left and those turning right).

That’s difficult to monitor. It’s just so unfortunate that she was hit,” the mayor said.

He lamented the death of Bascones, who had served Citom for more than 10 years already.

Rama asked the management of the shopping mall why it did not deploy security guards in the area to help man the traffic.

He said the left turn policy at the Country Mall access is an accommodation granted by the City Government following the implementation of his “no left turn” policy on the Banilad-Talamban (Ban-Tal) corridor last July 1.

“We allowed them to have a left turn slot and we’re still the ones who have to watch the area. They should help because I can see the danger there,” he said.

Rama then instructed Citom to expedite the opening of another lane on J. Panis St. so he can close the left turn slot at the mall.

Lawyer Rafael Yap, executive director of Citom, said the mayor wants them to talk to the owners of lots on J. Panis and ask them to set back their property to make way for one more lane.

The additional lane will serve as a loading and unloading bay, where vehicles can make a U-turn while the “no left turn” policy on Ban-Tal area is in effect.

The policy is being implemented Mondays to Fridays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

As he left for the United States yesterday for a three-week vacation, Rama instructed Acting Mayor Edgardo Labella to be on top of the management of traffic at the Ban-Tal area.

He also asked Labella to work on bailing out the City from its loan with the Japanese Government for the South Road Properties, and to prepare the City’s 2015 annual budget.

Rama will be back in City Hall on Aug. 12 yet.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 18, 2014.

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