One-way traffic on some roads in Mandaue

MANDAUE City’s traffic department has received the green light to test a one-way scheme that it hopes will ease traffic.

The City Council passed last Wednesday a resolution allowing the Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (Team) to implement a 60-day dry run for the plan that will limit two roads to one-way traffic.

Glenn Antigua, Team’s acting chief, said the dry run may not start until first week of August because they want to make sure all motorists have been informed before traffic changes are implemented.

Under the scheme, S.B. Cabahug St. and the J.P. Burgos St. will become one-way roads: only vehicles going to the Pacific Mall and beyond can use S.B. Cabahug St., starting from Jollibee Centro; and only vehicles going to City Hall and beyond can take P.J. Burgos St. from the Pacific Mall.

Motorists have complained of worsening traffic in the city, where several road and drainage projects are being done simultaneously by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7.

The one-way scheme is seen to decongest Plaridel St., where massive traffic jams occur because of road and drainage works, because S.B. Cabahug St. will become an attractive alternative route for motorists going to the north.

Antigua, in an earlier interview, also said that opening the two-lane J.P. Burgos St. to two-way traffic has caused traffic jams, especially when accidents occur on the road.

The new traffic plan also includes allowing vehicles going to Cebu City to use lanes below the Maguikay flyover on M.C. Briones St. and devoting one lane for an uninterrupted traffic flow from the north at the intersection of M.C. Briones St. and U.N. Ave.

“We will be putting up signs to guide our motorists,” Antigua told reporters in a press conference organized yesterday by the Mandaue City Public Information Office.

Councilor Elstone Dabon, chair of the City Council committee on transportation, said he expects Team to give him a report on the effectiveness of the scheme after 60 days.

“If the feedback is positive, we will craft an ordinance making the scheme permanent,” he said.

Dabon sponsored the resolution allowing Team to implement the dry run.

Although the new scheme may ease traffic, City Planning Officer Florentino Nimor Jr. said the public should not expect that it will solve road congestion in the city.

“This will not solve heavy traffic instantly. We have so many vehicles and the road and drainage projects of the DPWH 7 are ongoing,” he said.

Citing a 2010 study by the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Nimor said 377,000 trips pass through Mandaue City every day. The number is even higher than the city’s population, he said.

While the City has long-term measures in mind to address road congestion, Nimor said every one can also contribute to solving the problem through simple ways like carpooling and taking the mass transit.

Mandaue City—a gateway for motorists going to Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City and the northern towns—has been considered a bottleneck for traffic in Metro Cebu.

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