BAGUIO CITY – The local legislative body approved an ordinance on third reading for the closure of Session Road to vehicular traffic, particularly the uphill lane, every Sunday for a period of six months subject to conditions prescribed under existing ordinances.
The ordinance stated that among the conditions imposed for the temporary closure of the uphill lane of Session road include the fact that the closure shall be from the area in front of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) up to the last pedestrian crossing in front of the Baguio Post Office from 6 am to 9 pm during Sundays.
However, the ordinance stipulated that Upper and Lower Mabini road towards Harrison road shall remain open to vehicular traffic.
The ordinance added that the closure of a portion of Session Road shall be pursuant to Section 2 of ordinance No. 21, series of 2011 that provided for the guidelines in the conduct of traffic experiments in the city where it was specified that all traffic experiments shall conform with the condition that the experiment shall be conducted for a period not exceeding 6 months; upon the lapse of the 6-month period and no ordinance is enacted, the traffic scheme will automatically revert to its status prior to the experiment; massive information on the proposed traffic experiment scheme shall be given to the concerned public no less than 2 weeks before the experiment and that any substantial alteration or modification to the scheme during the experimental period should be made known to the public before the implementation; before any ordinance is enacted embodying the experiment, a public hearing or consultation by the concerned authorities; the Traffic and Transportation Management Committee (TTMC) shall submit a preliminary report to the City mayor and the local legislative body within 2 weeks of implementation of the experiment; signages and barriers which meet safety standards should be in place during the period of the experiment and an evaluation report must be submitted by the TTMC before the enactment of an ordinance to make the scheme permanent or before the lapse of the 6-month experiment whichever comes first.
According to the ordinance, the early termination or extension of the traffic scheme shall be determined by the local chief executive.
Earlier, Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong transmitted to the local legislative body on the proposed closure of the uphill lane of Session road by way of experiment every Sunday which is geared towards improving air quality in the city from motor vehicle emissions and to entice the residents and tourists alike to walk as part of the local government’s program in developing a healthy lifestyle with physical activities for people.
Magalong claimed that the conduct of the traffic experiment on the closure of the uphill lane of Session road is part of the plan of the local government to pedestrianize a portion of the said road.
Earlier, the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) was directed to come out with a re-routing plan and advise motorists on the matter to prevent confusion among motorists during the implementation of the traffic experiment.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando Bolislis