AN ONLINE petition has resurfaced with an old call to retain open spaces at Burnham Park.
The petition calls to cancel the proposed parking infrastructure at Burnham Park and increase public utility jeepneys (PUJ) fleet’s reliability to establish a better mass transport system.
“This petition does not aim to be divisive, I/We do not intend to express disapproval towards those who have cars, especially those who maximize the carrying capacity of their vehicles (ie. a family with young children, PWD, medical practitioners and senior citizens) – I/we respect each motorists’ rights. We only refuse to remain the neglected sector of the community and believe that there are better approaches to achieve better mobility for all. PUJ commuters endure roofless waiting sheds, long lines before and after work/school, and suffer a financial shock when pushed to take a taxi and get stuck in traffic like everyone else to name a few,” the petition said.
Councilor Mylen Yaranon said plans for the parking at Burnham Park are under the review of the city’s technical working group (TWG) under city consultant Landscape Architect Arch Renato Heray, after four proposals were already presented to the city.
“Last meeting, TWG was considering underground parking at Jadewell and Creative Center area to answer the parking needs. But these are subject to DOT and TIEZA review,” Yaranon said.
The petition is asking city officials to explore a city deal with SM Supermalls, explore ways on how to empower the PUJ fleet and increase its reliability and scrap plans to add to the Park’s building footprint.
“The city’s lack of parking facilities has been heeded by SM Supermalls. There stands a high capacity mega-structure which we believe if partnered by the LGU would increase its highest and best use to help ease congestion. The plan to erect one in Burnham Park will not warrant a sure-fix and the salient points raised by the BAGUIO WE WANT FORUM petition stands that the park is an aquifer, is with historical significance (by the NHCP), and an area for evacuees in times of calamities, to mention a few,” the petition added.
This petition already garnered 14,506 signatures at the time of this writing Saturday.
The group also asks for equality in transport planning “means that the same treatment is given to all social sectors regardless of differences (1) while equity means fairness (2), considers differences and plans from there. Baguio is home to 330,000 residents wherein 10% of the population own a car. This means that a good majority are commuters.”