A GROUP of concerned citizens from the private and public sectors on Thursday, July 20, asked the San Fernando City Government to create internal road networks to be used by pedicabs, tricycles and other three-wheeled vehicles, instead of traversing MacArthur Highway or Jose Abad Santos Avenue (Jasa).

The concern was raised during the first meeting of the newly-organized Road Safety and Education Committee initiated by members of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc.

The committee is composed of representatives from concerned government offices like Department of Public Works and Highways, Land Transportation Office, Department or Interior and Local Government, City Traffic Management Division and Philippine National Police.

According to Pampanga Chamber vice chairman Rene Romero, the recommendation will help intensify the implementation of ordinance 2008-015, a measure that bans tricycle-for-hires from using MacArthur Highway and Jasa.

Romero, who has since been calling for the removal of tricycles and pedicabs from the city’s major thoroughfares, reiterated the disadvantages and dangers posed by the said vehicles for themselves, their passengers and their fellow motorists.

“We understand that the ordinance cannot be fully implemented since there are places or barangays that cannot be reached without traversing either MacArthur Highway or Jasa. That is the reason why we are suggesting to the City Government to come up with a route which tricycles can use to go around the city but avoiding the two major thoroughfares,” he said.

Romero also said a letter sent by Pampanga Chamber to Mayor Edwin Santiago, which formally asked the City Government to identify inter-village roads to be used not only by tricycle-for-hires, but even those for private use.

“We would like to suggest that alternate routes for tricycles and pedicabs be clearly identified and mapped out by the city for all concerned, which will include the drivers as well as the passengers of these conveyances. This initiative will also serve to deliver the message that the city’s executive department is earnest in its intention of protecting and preserving each and every life of its constituent without compromising the source of livelihood of the tricycle and pedicab drivers, who insist on using our major highways due to lack or absence of inter-barangay inner roads,” the letter signed by Romero said.

But while there is still no inter-village roads, Romero proposed that tricycles must only be allowed to use the outer lanes of the highways to avoid causing traffic and attract danger while on their way to their destinations.

City Traffic Management Office (CTMO) head Danilo Bautista expressed his gratitude to Pampanga Chamber and the committee for its support to further improve the traffic scheme of the city.

He said that since the CTMO started to intensify the implementation of Ordinance 2008-015 on January, they have already apprehended some 3,603 tricycles and 3,398 motorcycles, mostly for plying around the city’s major thoroughfare.