THE automated traffic lights on UN Avenue and D.M. Cortes were shut off from 10 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, to allow contractors to adjust the hardware settings in time for the dry run of the new traffic scheme to decongest the busy intersection.
The original plan was to shut down the traffic lights from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., but the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team) didn’t want to inconvenience motorists and they wanted to prevent heavy traffic, said Team executive director Florentino Nimor Jr.
Under the new scheme, motorists traveling to northern Cebu from D.M. Cortes St. via the Cansaga Bridge will take the U-turn slot under the Marcelo Fernan Bridge.
When motorists return to the main road, they can just turn right to the Cansaga Bridge, instead of crossing the intersection.
Taking the U-turn slot under the second bridge is a scheme that has been followed by drivers of public utility jeepneys heading north via the Jagobiao-Consolacion route.
Buses and other northbound vehicles coming from the Cebu North Bus Terminal also take the U-turn slot instead of turning left toward Pacific Mall.
Those heading to Cebu City via Cansaga Bridge turn right to UN Ave., head towards P. Burgos St., turn left to to A.C. Cortes St. and proceed to D.M. Cortes St.
The purpose of the new traffic intervention is to prioritize motorists coming from the airport.
Nimor said they didn’t want to give tourists a bad impression if they get mired in hours of traffic when they arrive.
He said he expects some streets to be congestion during the dry run.
“Nanghangyo lang mi sa publiko nga to bear with us nga mapakusog namo ang traffic pero mao na nga naa lagi compromises. Muhuot gamay ang hiway, affected gyud na sya (We’re asking the public to bear with us so we can improve traffic flow, but there will be compromises. Expect highway traffic to be heavy since it will be affected),” Nimor said.
Team has disseminated information about the dry run on social media and has broadcast advisories in different radio stations.
The traffic office also posted billboards and tarpaulin along several streets in the city.
Nimor said they should be able to iron out the kinks after a few days. (KFD)