‘Lack of safety precautions’ makes for dangerous crossing

‘Lack of safety precautions’ makes for dangerous crossing
File photo

PEDESTRIANS have complained about the alleged poor management and lack of safety precautions with regard to the ongoing implementation of the first package of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) project.

The first package runs 2.38 kilometers from the Cebu South Bus Terminal on N. Bacalso Ave. to the front of the Capitol building along Osmeña Blvd.

It passes the Cebu Normal University (CNU), City Central Elementary School and the Abellana National School, which have thousands of students and pupils.

A skywalk used to straddle the wide thoroughfare, providing safe crossing, but this was demolished along with the skywalk in front of the Department of Health 7 office last February to make way for the project.

Pedestrians, many of them students and pupils from the schools in the vicinity, criticized the lack of signages and insufficient barriers to protect them from passing vehicles.

Joshua Dave Ardimer, a student at CNU, told SunStar Cebu on Wednesday, March 12, 2024, that the removal of the skywalk has inconvenienced them, affecting their safety whenever they cross Osmeña Blvd.

“In terms of the safety management, I think kailangan siya butangan ug (they need to install) proper precautions na materials or anything na itabon sa mga delikado na (that will cover dangerous) areas,” he said.

“There aren’t enough signages (to warn pedestrians), especially with so many schools in the vicinity. You know how unruly elementary pupils can get. So there’s a good chance they’ll get into an accident like hurting themselves from the metal cables that are sticking out from the ground,” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Kent Francesco Jongoy, Cebu City Transportation Office legal officer and assistant head, admitted that there are risk hazards in the area, including an open pit and debris from the ongoing civil works of the CBRT project.

He urged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to remind the contractor to strengthen safety measures.

Currently the only safety measure in place is a yellow tape that cordons off the excavations, he said.


“I hope the DOTr will also do its job of informing the contractor of the basics of construction safety kay dili man nato malikayan (because it can’t be helped). Asa man nato palakwon ang mga tawo (Where will the people walk)? Adto sa kalsada (On the street)? There’s a portion that is walkable but considering the population of the schools in the area. These are public schools so daghan-daghan gyud ni sila estudyante (there are a lot of students and pupils),” Jongoy said.

He said they have deployed 10 traffic enforcers at the intersection of Osmeña Blvd. and P. del Rosario St. and in the near vicinity not only to man traffic but also to assist crossing pedestrians.

He said there are two at the corner of R.R. Landon St. and Osmeña Blvd., three at the corner of N. Bacalso and P. del Rosario, three on Leon Kilat St. corner J. Alcantara St. and N. Bacalso, and another two at P. del Rosario corner Junquera St.

He said the enforcers work in two shifts, from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

He said patrol teams monitor and handle traffic for the rest of the night until the wee hours of the morning.

Jongoy emphasized the need to deploy enforcers to prioritize the safety of pedestrians, many of them students.

The DOTr had promised to install pedestrian crossings where the two skywalks stood, but as of press time there were none.

Meanwhile, Jongoy asked for the public’s understanding regarding enforcers who take shade, especially during the hottest hours of the day.

He said they also need to protect themselves from the intense heat of the sun.

Jongoy assured that enforcers are in the middle of intersections manning traffic during peak hours.

However, a street vendor who wished not to be identified told SunStar Cebu that they barely feel the presence of the traffic enforcers.

“Adto ra gyud siya sa may eskina duol sa traffic lights. Tagsa ra pud sila naa, buntag ra,” the vendor said.

(They usually hang out in the corner near the traffic lights. And they’re rarely there, usually in the mornings.) / EHP / BiPSU INTERNS JOSHUA USIGAN, MA. ANNA PRIMERO


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