Baguio address traffic woes in summit

STAKEHOLDERS in the transportation sector came together on Thursday in a bid to help congest traffic in the city during a Transportation and Traffic Summit at the Baguio Convention Center.

The summit aims to address the city's heavy traffic problems through odd-even schemes and an improved public transport through the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)–proposed monorail passing through the Balili river.

Cited as one of the causes of traffic congestion in the city is the lack of facilities such as the loading and loading stations for public utility vehicles while participants pointed out self-discipline ranked foremost as the determining factor in traffic problem solving.

Other suggestions include road-widening, construction of serviceable overpasses near congested areas and the school-belt, more consultations and information campaigns in the barangays and strict implementation of traffic rules and regulations.

The administrative order for the anti-road obstruction drive was also discussed, with Councilor Michael Lawana explaining the salient points, as to the deputization of barangay officials.

Traffic expert Engr. Teodorico Tan explained the mechanics for road status, transport, sidewalk and pedestrians, and needed facilities. The business sector and academics group also gave feedback, as with the blue, yellow, green and red jeepney trunkline association officers.

Bypass roads along and through the neighboring towns of La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan and Tuba were also acknowledged as traffic relievers, with officials of public works and highways present.

During the forum, the stakeholders ranked the short, medium and long term propositions.

Architect Joseph Alabanza ended the forum with a challenge for the “protection of the character of Baguio City for future generations,” through the protection of nature, “pedestrianization” of roads, including Session road, making roads “walkable.”

More planning is needed, he said, inclusive of Baguio’s neighbors -La Trinidad-Itogon-Sablan-Tuba-Tublay concept.

At present, Baguio City Police Office city director Senior Superintendent Ramil Saculles said an average of 150-170 road violators are apprehended every day. (Julie Fianza/PIO with a report from Joy Calantas/UC Intern)

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