BAGUIO CITY – The Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) disclosed that it is all systems go for the partial closure of the uphill lane of Session Road every Sunday, 6 am to 9 pm, for six months starting August 18, 2019.
BCPO City Director Police Col. Allen Rae F. Co said that all the necessary preparations for the partial closure of the city’s main road were already put in place in time for the effectivity of the closure that will undergo the needed experiment to ascertain whether its proposed pedestrianization will be feasible.
He said that traffic enforcers will be deployed to manage the traffic in strategic areas to help lessen the effect of the partial closure of the road to the traffic in other roads directly linked with the main thoroughfare.
Earlier, Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong signed Ordinance No. 65, series of 2019 that approved the partial closure of Session road for 6 months to study the feasibility of pedestrianizing the said road that will help in reducing the pollutants being emitted by motor vehicles in the city’s air and encourage people to walk.
The uphill lane of Session road will be closed starting in front of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) up to the last pedestrian lane in front of the Baguio Post Office.
However, Upper and Lower Mabini Streets towards Harrison road will remain open to vehicular traffic to serve as an alternate route for motorists wanting to move around the central business district area.
Under the approved ordinance, the local government is mandated to conduct an information and education campaign on the partial closure of Session road for 2 weeks prior to the implementation of the same to allow the public to be informed about the closure and its purposes pursuant to the provisions of Ordinance No. 21, series of 2011 which prescribed the guidelines for the conduct of traffic experiments.
The local government is given a maximum of 6 months to conduct the said traffic experiment and the failure of the local legislative body to enact an ordinance that will make the traffic experiment within the said period will automatically result to the return of the original traffic scheme existing on the uphill lane of Session road.
Co said that appropriate signages were already installed in strategic portions of Session roads and other major roads within the central business district area to serve as a guide for motorists on what alternate routes to take due to the partial closure of the uphill lane of Session road.
Co added that the other lane of Session road, particularly the one going down, will remain open to vehicular traffic while parking on both sides of the road will temporarily be prohibited starting midnight of Saturday and that parking of motor vehicles will resume on both sides after 9 pm of Sunday.
The police official appealed for utmost understanding from the public who will be experiencing inconveniences due to the implementation of the traffic experiment considering the need to ascertain the feasibility of the pedestrianization of a portion of the road.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando M. Bolislis