I HAVEN’T written about illegal parking in a while so I think now is about time to revisit the issue.
The matter is one of my pet peeves since I am fond of walking. In fact, I don’t drive or flag a cab or ride a jeepney or hop on a habal-habal if I can avoid it.
That’s why I get riled up when I’m forced off the sidewalk and on to the road because a vehicle that is illegally parked is blocking my way or when I’m forced to step aside to let a running motorcycle pass, on the sidewalk.
This usually happens along Osmeña Blvd. and R.R. Landon St. And I should know, since this is my daily route to the oval at the Cebu City Sports Center or to my office on P. del Rosario.
Anyway, it was in February last year that Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena declared a holy war against traffic violators.
What he actually said was he would no longer “give adjudication” to traffic violators, whatever that meant. He also said he would not exempt anyone from the clamping violation, “including his allies and supporters of Bando Osmena Pundok Kauswagan.”
Well, at first, it looked like the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) was dead serious about implementing the mayor’s directive.
I rejoiced when I read that 300 motorcycles, 20 private vehicles, three taxis and three jeepneys had been impounded for various violations.
Then last June, the CCTO landed in the headlines when it clamped two ambulances that were parked illegally outside the Cebu Doctors’ Hospital, which had earned the ire of Osmeña for refusing to pay business taxes.
Also last June, the mayor warned he would recall vehicles the City issued to the police if he found out that police cars were illegally parked on the road. He also said he would cut off their gasoline subsidy and cash allowances.
I don’t know if he did any of that, that is recall the vehicles or cut off their gasoline subsidy and cash allowances, but I do know that vehicles belonging to police officers have been clamped on Osmeña Blvd.
That happened recently on the stretch of sidewalk between the gas station on Uytengsu Road and the Abellana Police Station.
The vehicle was not a patrol car. It was a private vehicle that belonged to a police official who looked like he had come from a meeting across the street at the Police Regional Office 7 headquarters.
Trust me, he wasn’t pleased. But I overheard him telling someone over the cellular phone to call somebody to have the problem fixed.
Of course, I’m not really sure if that’s what he said since I went on my way, but I assumed that’s what it was.
Mind you, the CCTO has been clamping illegally parked vehicles on that stretch of sidewalk, which might explain why I hardly see any parked vehicles there anymore. Although, as is the case here in our neck of the woods, when the cat is away, well, you know what the mouse does.
Well, here’s a shoutout to the CCTO. If it’s really serious about clamping illegally parked vehicles, there are plenty in front of the UCPB across the Community Hospital. Or along R.R. Landon, especially that stretch from Pelaez to Osmeña Blvd.
We’ll just see.