Possible SRP traffic meltdown

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Thursday, May 29, 2014


MY COLUMN about SM Prime Holding Inc.’s push for the Cebu City Government to prepare for the impact of the opening of SM Seaside City on the traffic situation at the South Road Properties (“SRP Traffic and Master Plan,” May 27 2014) invited a reaction from a reader who sent an email that unfortunately didn’t have his or her name in it.

But I find his warning of a possible traffic meltdown at the SRP once its locators start operation quite interesting.

“From the very beginning, the planners of the SRP concentrated on maximizing its salable area and had little thoughts on a sustainable traffic plan.

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“(The portion of the Cebu South Coastal Road that passes the SRP) has only six lanes crossing it from north to south. This tapers off to four lanes at the Talisay side.

“There has been no provision for road-widening as the City sold the huge north area of the SRP to SM and partnered with Filinvest in developing some lots at the south side.

The City cannot expropriate these lots should there be a traffic apocalypse which is waiting to happen.

“In sharp contrast, the Cebu North Reclamation Area has 20 lanes that cross it from
North to South (count them)! The Mandaue Reclamation Area has eight lanes from north to south with another four lanes passing by the North Bus Terminal for a total of 12 lanes.

“To add to a future traffic meltdown, SRP has only three access roads: at the Compania Maritima area, in Barangay Mambaling and from Talisay City. In comparison, the Cebu Business Park has five! And it is only 50 hectares in size against the 300-hectare land area of the SRP.

“SM Seaside City and the other locators have a huge headache in the offing.”

I understand the worry of the letter-sender. Even now, whenever an accident happens at the SRP portion of the coastal road, traffic becomes a nightmare. Traffic gridlocks also appeared when the Iglesia ni Cristo held an activity at the SRP.

I hope City Hall people are reading this.

***

My other column titled “Automating Voter Registration” (May 9, 2014) wherein I mentioned in passing my failure to receive my ID card years after I applied for it at the Social Security System (SSS) office, also generated a response from Marissu G. Bugante, Vice President for Public Affairs and Special Events Division.

I appreciate the prompt reaction from the SSS people, although there is still a need to reconcile some of the points in that letter with details of my ID application.

Pending its resolution, I would tackle the other enlightening aspects of the letter:

“For other SSS members who…have been waiting for over two months now for their ID, we encourage them to verify their ID application status with the SSS branch where they had applied for the ID. The phone numbers are listed at the SSS Branch Directory of the SSS Website (www.sss.gov.ph). They can also contact the SSS Call Center (920-6446 to 55) or send an email inquiry to sss_id@sss.gov.ph.

“With regard to the speed of ID issuance, SSS' ID production is far more comprehensive than printing out a plastic card with the member's personal information and photo.

UMID (United Multi-purpose ID) production entails processes such as data capture, fingerprint matching, visual inspections, data verification and smartchip readability checks---which overall takes 10 working days–-before the cards are packaged and mailed to members. These steps aim to prevent multiple card issuances to an individual and ensure the security and quality of the UMID.”

So SSS ID cards can now be sent to the applicant member “10 working days” after these are processed? I’ll check that out when I apply for an UMID card.

(khanwens@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 30, 2014.

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