ENGINEERS of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) recently visited Baguio City to assist in looking for ways on how to ease traffic in the country’s Summer Capital.
Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) Traffic Chief Police Major Oliver Panabang said MMDA representatives asked the Baguio City Traffic Enforcement Unit for initial 15 hot spot areas.
“One of the hotspot that we identified was the BGH rotunda which they saw aside from other areas and after their initial observation of these areas, they are set to come back with their team to further study and observe these hot spot areas which we identified. Prior to our actual observation with members of the MMDA, we provided them with advance information of specific intersections, what its situation is, and on how hard this intersection is being managed including the number or volume of vehicles passing these intersections,” the traffic chief said.
Aside from Baguio General Hospital (BGH) rotunda, Abanao Street was also identified as traffic hot spot because it funnels traffic from Kennon Road and Session Road and draws more than 60,000 vehicles per day while roads meant to serve travelers from neighboring Benguet towns are being underutilized, too.
“Representatives of the Metro Manila Development Authority came on the 10th of this month and we had a meeting with them in the afternoon then on the following day, we made the rounds and they made some requirements which we provided to them more on data gathering and at the same time on our part, they had us identify the critical areas and traffic hot spots in the city which we both looked at individually,” Panabang said.
MMDA have already developed computer applications to monitor Baguio’s real-time traffic, aside from offering secondhand traffic lights to replace the city’s worn-out units.
Based on a study by Certeza Infosys Corp., Baguio City has a daytime population of 700,000 people which includes students, workers and tourists. It goes on to add the city’s roads can only support 145,416 individuals (2.4 kilometers per 1,000 people).
The report indicates Baguio’s 349-kilometer road system is good for 42 percent of the population or serves only 20 percent of the daytime population.
“Upon their return, the MMDA engineers are set to conduct a vehicle movement count which is part of their technical support for the traffic in Baguio. They admitted that the traffic situation here is different from the lowland because of the geography but they assured of their best to give the most appropriate study which would be our basis for the need to place traffic lights or pedestrian traffic signals and others,” Panabang added.
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong have expressed his intention to study Baguio City’s road system via satellite imagery, after finding out how many motorists ply downtown Baguio.
The local government unit is also set to look into improving Baguio City’s jeepney system.