Former Baguio rep: City needs more diversion roads

BAGUIO needs more diversion roads which would serve as detours for motorists to reach their points of destination faster without going through the downtown area.

This was emphasized by former Baguio Representative Bernardo Vergara, who explained these diversion roads would also serve another purpose of spurring economic growth in neighboring areas, over the weekend.

“We need more diversion roads in our city and it was highlighted in the last two and a half years that Baguio was very infrastructure negligent. We wasted a lot of money and a lot of opportunities by building overpasses that are not being used by pedestrians but which only serve as street decorations,” he pointed out.

“Roads that did not need to be dug up were destroyed, it clogged up many areas and diverted motorist elsewhere. Just look at that short stretch near Giligan’s between Legarda and Kisad Road. The funds for that should have been used elsewhere,” Vergara said.

An example, he said, was for the funding of new roads that would serve the motoring public better. “Let’s say that you are at Aurora Hill and you want to go to La Trinidad, you won’t need to go down to Rimando Road and Trancoville, but just build a new road cutting through Ambiong and South Sanitary Camp, then you would end up coming out at the Bell Church,” Vergara explained.

Another example, he said, was a road from Camp 7, Kennon Road to Scout Barrio and Camp John Hay through Dagsian.

“We cannot expand Baguio roads anymore. We have to create diversion roads that would give motorists a safe passage way to their points of destination without going through the central business district. If you are at Gov. Pack Road and want to go to KIsad, you won’t need to suffer the traffic at the BGH rotunda by taking a small passageway near the Lions Clubhouse,” Vergara said.

“Take for instance the Circumferential Road, If you want to go to Asin Road from Marcos Highway, you won’t need to go to the downtown area and pass through Naguilian Road because you can’t go straight through Suello Village to reach there,” he continued.

At the same time, Vergara explained, “the building of diversion roads would also bring motorists closer to our neighboring towns of Benguet, where economic growth could be spurred, and that is the concept of BLISTT.”

The BLISTT, which is also known informally as Metro Baguio, is an agglomeration of the city of Baguio and five municipalities of the province of Benguet, namely: La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay.

Long proposed and supported by the Regional Development Council of the Cordillera, the BLISTT is one of 12 defined metropolitan areas in the Philippines. The original "BLIST" long existed as a concept since its inception in August 1990, a month after the 1990 earthquake which devastated the city of Baguio and other surrounding areas, and only existed as an informal reference to the area. The concept was later amended into "BLISTT" in 2009, which included the municipality of Tublay, despite not being adjacent to the city of Baguio. It was officially established after a signing of a memorandum of agreement by the mayors of the component local government units.

BLISTT, like Metro Manila and Metro Cebu, is not an administrative political unit, but a cluster of independent local government units. (PR)

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