IN A recent television interview by television channel ANC, new city Mayor Benjamin Magalong gave his assurance that one of his priorities when he officially sits down as the chief executive would be to solve and unravel the traffic congestion in the city.
Now, this might seem at first glance to be a gargantuan and almost impossible task but if the new city mayor will exert the same kind o energy, commitment and sincerity in much the same way that he did when he campaigned and won in the recent elections, then we can say goodbye to the present traffic mess.
It is important to note that when the situation seems hopeless and with seemingly no favorable solution in sight, people generally tend to cling and believe on those willing and able to offer a fresh and better perspective on the situation along with insights that might just lead to a more or less permanent solution to the problem.
This is how Benjamin Magalong, a retired police general, presented himself to the people of Baguio when he campaigned and eventually won the top leadership of the city. He is as he bannered himself during his election campaign, "a breath of fresh air."
In subsequent interviews with the media after the elections, Magalong assured the people of Baguio that he will hit the ground running. In other words, he will be working his ass off for the three years that he will be in office in his first term as city mayor. This is, of course, an assurance most welcomed by those constantly being affected by traffic bottlenecks and congestion especially during rush hours transiting between home, workplace or place of business.
Now, in line with the effort to solve the traffic problem in the city, this writer will also continue to provide some suggestions and ideas on how best to ease the worsening traffic congestion.
There is in fact a suggestion on social media that barangay roads should not be used either, temporarily or permanently, as parking areas for motor vehicles, ditto, of course, other serviceable roads within the jurisdiction of a particular barangay. It is thus suggested that as a first step, the 128 barangays in the city should come up with their respective databases on how many motor vehicles are located in their jurisdictions. Meaning, how many are privately-owned and those used for public utility purposes that are parked at certain hours of the day. The barangay database should contain all the necessary details of these motor vehicles, such as make, model, color, plate number, driver/s name, with garage or without garage, etc.
This barangay databases will then be collated and consolidated to serve as a guide in future traffic regulations to be crafted by either the legislative or executive branch of the city government.
This suggestion is on top of this writer’s suggestions contained in previous columns, which include permanent ban on parking at the Central Business District (CBD) area, relocation to the outskirts of the city Public Utility Vehicles (buses and vans) with inter-provincial routes, establishing underground road systems or even subways, mass transport system, multi-level parking facilities around the CBD area, etc.
For now, these are just some of the suggestions and ideas that can be studied and considered by the City Government. We have a new city mayor who commits to do more than just talk and so we can do nothing less than extend our support to his programs most especially those that will solve the traffic problem.