FRIDAY last week on the way back home to Balamban after visiting the Sun.Star Cebu office to pick up my check, I was surprised that the V-hire I rode in from the Citilink terminal along N. Bacalso Ave. took a very circuitous route through P. del Rosario St. to M.J. Cuenco Ave., turning left to Gorordo Ave. straight to the JY Square area and up to the Transcentral Highway passing by the Marco Polo Hotel.
Since I was seated on the front seat in deference to my being a senior citizen, I asked the driver of the GT (Garage to Terminal) van about it. He said was just looking for a route out of the city since they were told they could not turn right to V. Rama Ave.
Not only did I not know what the city’s traffic people were up to, but I also did not understand what the city government plans to do about the worsening traffic congestion in some parts of the city.
And why would the city’s traffic czars ban certain vehicles from turning right to V. Rama Ave.? I think it is unfair to single out the GT vehicles intending to pass there going to the Transcentral Highway and on to the west coast in Balamban town.
There are alternative routes, of course, open to GT vans. One is to go straight to Tabunok in Talisay City straight to Naga City then to Toledo City and finally Balamban town. Or they can turn right in Tabunok taking the Manipis road.
Travel using either one of the alternative routes take a much longer time and is even riskier. The Naga route takes around three hours to negotiate, joining vehicles passing through the Manipis road at a certain point in Lutopan in Toledo City and then on to Barangay Sangi where the vehicles would split: left turn for those going to the Toledo City center, or right turn to Balamban, which is 17 kilometers from the city.
Taking the Transcentral Highway from the Citilink terminal or from the Ayala Center terminal in Lahug would cut travel time by almost one-half, and the risk to life and limb is also reduced by half.
Drivers at the Transcentral Highway, though, are warned and forced to be extra-careful in negotiating the tortuous passage, ascending or descending. About two years ago, 17 students died when a tourist bus driven by an inexperienced driver fell off the road’s edge. Besides, there is still continuing work to improve the highway.
In any case, I am not really complaining about the traffic situation in our side of the Transcentral Highway. I am just sort of worried about the possibility of having to take a much longer travel time, or negotiating a “riskier” way to reach our part of the Tañon Strait.
Just the same, as long as Cebu City’s traffic plans will not diminish or affect the developing economy of our town, I really have no reason to complain. All is well in the western Tañon Strait front.