AS EXPECTED, traffic was worse as organizers and participants of the Green Loop’s road-sharing scheme conducted their activity late yesterday afternoon until in the evening. The activity took place from 3 to 7 p.m. along the major thoroughfares of Gen. Maxilom Ave., Gorordo Ave., Escario St. and Osmeña Blvd. (from Capitol to Fuente Osmeña).
I wrote this column in a coffee shop in One Mango on Gen. Maxilom as the activity was about to commence and I already noticed a traffic build-up in the area. Only the right lane going to the North Reclamation Area was used. From Mango, I drove toward the Capitol passing through D. Jakosalem, Ramos St. and then to Fuente Osmeña. It took me almost one hour to reach my destination. And mind you, there were only few skaters and bikers using the opposite lane. No group of people dared to walk as it was still too hot. It was sunny the whole day yesterday. The traffic was also worse in the Capitol area. Traffic personnel miserably failed to handle and man the traffic as there was a big volume of vehicles passing through the area, even if it was Sunday. I saw Councilor Gerry Carillo and a group of bikers in the Fuente Osmeña area. While traffic was heavy in one lane going to Capitol from Fuente, the other lane at the side of Cebu Doctors’ Hospital was vacant. Not many people were walking on the street.
Green Loop’s activity, dubbed “Mag-angay ta sa dan, bay,” spearheaded by the Movement for a Livable Cebu, aimed to promote awareness that every individual has the right to use the street, especially those who have no vehicles.
For me, this is a crazy exercise. Why hold the activity on busy streets? Organizers can do that in a more spacious and a safer place like the South Road Properties or at the Ayala Business Park.
Most of the organizers are rich and famous and they live in high-end subdivisions and drive expensive and flashy cars.
Do you think they are sincere in their advocacy in promoting the interest of those who don’t have vehicles? I didn’t see them yesterday afternoon when I drove along the routes before I e-mailed this column.
Road-sharing? But why should we share half of the road with pedestrians when they are given the sidewalks to use? Clean the sidewalks first and let the pedestrians use these. For the bikers, why don’t they go to the mountains like in Busay and the transcentral highway? It is more conducive there for physical fitness exercise.
A group of bicycle enthusiasts called Tindak Bisdak is asking the City Government for a bicycle lane. But I think nobody is prohibiting them from biking as long they don’t distract the flow of traffic. For skaters, it is very dangerous to perform along busy streets. Let them play in the mountainous roads where there are slope areas.
I said some of the organizers live in high-end subdivisions. If they are really concerned for those who don’t have vehicles, why can’t they open the gates and roads of their subdivisions to ordinary people who live nearby? Dili man gani na sila magpa-agi sa mga pobre nilang silingan nga naa nagpuyo sa “killage” (beside the village).
Patuyukon pa man nila nga layo na kaayo og agian.
Besides, this kind of exercise disrupts economic activity in areas affected. Who will go to an area if they notice a jam caused by this activity?
Establishment owners, their workers and customers will be affected too. Jeepney and taxi drivers also hardly meet their boundary because of heavy traffic. I hope next time Mayor Mike Rama will no longer entertain any request from this group for the same exercise.
Last Saturday, a group of media personalities went to Argao to unveil the streets named after three late media men who were natives of Argao: Press Secretary Cerge Remonde, Clod Bajenting and Wilfredo “Boy” Veloso. The activity was still part of the weeklong celebration of Cebu Press Freedom week, which culminated also last Saturday.
The activity was in coordination with the local government unit of Argao through the effort of Mayor Edsel Galeos. Families and relatives of the deceased media personalities attended the occasion. Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale graced the affair. Magpale and Galeos acknowledged the role of the media in nation-building. “As a public servant, we need the cooperation and support of the media,’ Magpale said in her speech. Vice Mayor Stanley Caminero and other local officials were also present.