THERE goes again Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña’s obsession with the Cebu South Coastal Road. With the traffic nightmare caused by the closure of Natalio Baclaso Ave. because of the construction of an underpass, the mayor bared a plan to allow public utility jeepneys (PUJs) to use the coastal instead. Sounds logical, except that it’s obviously not well studied.
Good that the mayor still has to consult the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) on the matter. Hopefully, the CCTO can also be objective on this, because the suggested solution could conjure more problems.
For one, what the mayor is targeting are PUJs, not private vehicles. The routes that PUJs follow were preset by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) not based on a whim but because of need. Those routes are where the passengers can be found. Those passengers are not on the coastal road.
Since this involves only Cebu City and not the neighboring Talisay City, the PUJs that will be allowed to use the coastal road presumably from Mambaling can only exit at the road in Inayawan but have to be allowed to use the road in San Roque in Talisay connecting it. That road is too narrow to absorb more vehicles.
As we have said before, the South Road Properties (SRP) suffers from the lack of adequate road networks and entry and exit points, making it too dependent on the coastal road, which is also used by vehicles going to and from the southern parts of the province. The coastal road in the SRP has long been prone to traffic gridlocks.
Meanwhile, if the undeveloped entry and exit points in Barangay Cogon could be made serviceable, making PUJs go to the coastal road would already be circuitous because there are SRP routes that are nearer there. But then, the CCTO and the city engineering department may have a better suggestion to do it.
What we are saying is that the mayor’s suggestion is not as simple as it looks. Which brings us to the point of an earlier editorial: all these problems would not have been encountered had the Cebu City Government and the Department of Public Works and Highways planned the construction of the underpass well.