Garcia orders removal of lamp posts along along Osmeña Blvd.

Garcia orders removal of lamp posts along along Osmeña Blvd.
CBRT COMPONENT. In this photo taken June 20, 2024, several lamp posts can be seen erected along Osmeña Blvd,. near the Basilica Minore del Sto Niño and Plaza Independencia. / AMPER CAMPAÑA

Cebu City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia has ordered the removal of lamp posts built in the middle of Osmeña Blvd., which are part of the link-to-port feature of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) project.

After seeing the complaints and photos of the lamp posts, Garcia, in a phone interview on Thursday evening, June 20, 2024, told SunStar Cebu that he instructed the CBRT project management to remove the lamp posts at the soonest possible time.

“I ordered him (Imbong) to remove all the lamp posts as it poses danger to the pedestrians and commuters alike,” Garcia said.

In an earlier interview on Thursday, CBRT project manager Norvin Imbong said that despite claims by the city council and the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) that the installation of street lights in the middle of the road along Osmeña Boulevard lacked required permits, it has gained approval from Garcia.

Garcia admitted he had given a green light to the BRT management, but it was with a condition that they have to go through the process of getting clearance from the Cebu City Council for road closure, a permit from the Department of Engineering and Public Works for the excavation, and clearance from the CCTO for the new route that will be opened.

“I said yes in principle, but I told (them) to pass through the proper channel and (get) the required permits for that,” said Garcia.

Garcia asked Imbong to focus and work first on the pedestrianization and the bicycle lane before putting up the lamp posts.

He said Imbong agreed with his instruction.

Garcia earlier sought an explanation from the management of the CBRT on the installation of lamp posts after City Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera and the CCTO said that the project lacked concrete planning.

Cebu City Councilor Rey Gealon, who also heads the Traffic Management and Coordination Committee (TMCC), said erecting a lamp post in the middle of the road without securing first that stretch of road with barriers or early warning devices “ is the height of stupidity.”

Gealon said this poses danger to the “lives and limbs” of motorists and pedestrians.

“This ‘engineering marvel’ presumably within the BRT masterplan, if there is such a thing, failed miserably in its methodology, smacks of poor planning, and devoid of common sense,” said Gealon in a message on Thursday.

Gealon said the plan of putting up such a lamp post has not reached his office.

‘Link to port’ pedestrianization

The link to the port pedestrianization project will cover a total of 1.15 kilometers stretch of road from P. del Rosario St. to Plaza Independencia.

Imbong said the link to the port project was envisioned to connect the services of CBRT among the public. It includes an arcaded walkway with bike lanes that are divided by bollards.

Imbong said the public utility vehicles will have their lane designated for them in each direction along the route.

He said the installation of six street lights serves as the initial phase of the link to the port project. / JJL, AML

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