Solution to traffic woes

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014


DISMISSAL from work may be too harsh a punishment for Severino Cardente, the driver of the illegally parked multicab that bore the seal of Cebu City and which Citom clamped. But he deserves it, not because of the parking violation but for using a government vehicle for personal purpose.

A Cebu City Government official said that city-issued vehicles should be parked at City Hall after office hours except when the custodian or his authorized personnel has an early commitment the next day.

The multicab was parked overnight along Pelaez St. beside a bar, indicating that the driver or the person to whom it was assigned was inside drinking or just having a good time.

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But is Cardente a fall guy? The explanation of Arnold Lauron, a member of the local school board, that he left his bag with his ID in it in the multicab seems too good to be true.

This is not to brag, but my commentary last week on the terrible traffic situation in the city somehow sparked the drive against illegally parked motor vehicles, a practice that is one of the causes of traffic congestion.

Atty. Raffy Yap, Citom executive director, contradicted my view, though, saying that Citom is working because the city earned millions of pesos from apprehensions on violations of city traffic ordinances. Still, Director Yap appreciated my comments. Thank you!

But Mayor Mike Rama was not pleased with my use of the word lackadaisical in describing his slow push for the enforcement of city traffic ordinances, rules and regulations.

Illegally parked motor vehicles abound and these are visible along major thoroughfares and along interior roads. Some sidewalks are even used as car park by some car owners who have no garage.

The city mayor, however, scored big when Citom personnel, without fear or favor, clamped the City Hall-owned multicab that was assigned to Engr. Roel Tahom of the city’s school board.

Of course, the primary factor that sometimes causes unbearable traffic in the city is the considerable increase in the number of motor vehicles during peak hours even as the width of our roads has remained the same for years now.

Since widening existing roads would be outrageously costly because of existing buildings or improvements, the only way to put sanity back on the road is to strictly enforce city traffic ordinances, particularly illegal parking.

The other problem is that Mayor Rama does not want to see elevated tracks for light rail train as solution to the burgeoning traffic congestion in the city. He said it would block his view of the sky.

Aside from illegally parked vehicles, food vendors use the sidewalks or the roadsides as extension of their business. Tables and stalls are set up on the road side, congesting the already narrow road.

I am asking Director Yap and Probe chief Raquel Arce to send their enforcement team to a street in front of St. Vincent General hospital. There, the narrow street has become narrower because of the presence of food vendors and illegally parked cars.

I also notice that in some places where parking is restricted, the installed “No Parking” or “No Stopping” signs have been intentionally removed. Some drivers take advantage of the lack of traffic sign and park even in restricted areas.

Keeping the city streets free of illegally parked vehicles and maintaining an orderly traffic is, of course, not a simple job. It needs huge manpower and honest-to-goodness enforcers. It also entails long planning.

Pardon me, but I have yet to see Citom’s solutions to traffic problems at the flyovers, particularly in Ayala and IT Park, during peak hours.

Traffic flow in flyovers is fast during lean hours but not during peak hours. This is because flyovers follow the two-lane two-way traffic setup. When motor vehicles race to get first to a flyover’s approach, they get stuck.

(b>atty.ellieE@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 15, 2014.

Opinion

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