Roundabout simulation results in ‘overcrowding’

Roundabout simulation results in ‘overcrowding’
(Photo from Sugbo News Facebook)

THE simulation of a roundabout system at the intersection of DM Cortes Street and U.N. Avenue in Mandaue City on Sunday, April 14, 2024, resulted in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

The simulation started on the midnight of April 14 when a makeshift roundabout was placed at the intersection and the traffic lights were turned off.

It ended around 8:30 a.m. on Monday, April 15, when the makeshift roundabout was removed and the traffic lights were turned back on.

In an interview on Monday, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes said he and the Provincial Government agreed on Sunday that they need to prioritize widening the roads leading to and around the rotunda to accommodate the large volume of vehicles.

“We saw the need to have a flaring in the intersection and there is a positive development with the lot owners who will be affected by the flaring so we can widen the intersection near the Maayo Hotel,” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

The rotunda will also be moved closer to the corner of DM Cortes Street, using the lots acquired by the City Government.

Cortes said Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, who inspected the simulation last Sunday, had a positive meeting with owners of affected lots, including the telcos and utility firms, to give way to the proposed widening project.

The Provincial Government announced on social media last Sunday that it plans to widen roads and relocate the circle towards the corner of D.M. Cortes Street.

It said the roads will be expanded to accommodate a larger roundabout. It will also enhance the information drive and install ample signs in the vicinity. These moves aim to preemptively guide motorists on which lane to take to minimize congestion at the intersection, it said.

A permanent rotunda is being eyed to alleviate vehicular traffic from Lapu-Lapu City to the mainland and vice versa as the intersection is located at the foot of the Marcelo B. Fernan Bridge. It also serves as an alternative northbound route via the Cansaga Bay Bridge, which sits at the boundary of Mandaue City and the town of Consolacion.

The rotunda is an alternate solution to the delayed underpass project of the Department of Public Works and Highways along U.N. Avenue.

The traffic last Sunday didn’t sit well with some motorists.

Ralph, a 43-year-old food delivery rider, complained that instead of alleviating the problem, the roundabout simulation only worsened it.

“We were forced to wait several minutes under the scorching sun before the traffic flow improved,” he said in Cebuano.

Ralph, who didn’t want his real name to be used, said that if the government insists on putting a roundabout at the intersection, it should widen roads in the area.

Rey Bacaling, 21, said he supports the idea of a roundabout, but more strategic planning is needed.

“I think the simulation has potential to greatly help with the traffic but for now it took up some space on the road, thus causing more traffic,” he said.

The traffic flow only reverted to its normal flow when the traffic lights were turned back on Monday morning. (EHP, CAV)


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