BAGUIO CITY – Police authorities underscored the importance of discipline among motorists and their cooperation in the compliance to traffic rules and regulations to lessen the impact of insufficient parking spaces around the city to the worsening daily traffic congestions, especially in the central business district area.
Chief Inspector Oliver Panabang, chief of the Baguio city police Office’s Traffic Management Branch, disclosed based on an inventory conducted by the local police force, there are only 2,775 available roadside parking spaces, private pay parking slots and available public and private areas for parking in the different parts of the city compared to the over 44,000 registered motor vehicles in the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Baguio field office.
Of the total number of registered motor vehicles in the city, over 22,000 are said to be public utility vehicles that ply the city’s streets daily which result to the occurrence of traffic jams around major choke points in the city’s central business district area.
In the LTO La Trinidad field office, Panabang revealed that there are over 35,000 registered motor vehicles wherein over 20,000 are public utility vehicles that ply various routes, including some parts of the city, which contribute in the daily traffic jams in most parts of the city.
Aside from the registered motor vehicles in Baguio and La Trinidad, he admitted that the motor vehicles of visitors who frequent the city during weekends and holidays also contribute in the worsening traffic jams and the obstructions in some of the roads where they are parked.
“We continue to explore means to improve the traffic congestions in our city daily but it is also important for motorists to cooperate with the implementation of traffic scheme as well as for visitors to use public transport to lessen the presence of motor vehicles in most parts of our city,” Panabang stressed.
The police official pointed out that during special events happening in the city like the Christmas in Baguio activities, the annual Panagbenga festival, among other similar events, traffic enforcers often practice tolerance in the implementation of traffic rules and regulations and against illegally parked motor vehicles in consideration to the influx of visitors who want to witness the conduct of the said events for them not to have a negative impression on the city so that they will be enticed to keep frequenting one of the country’s premier tourist destinations.
According to him, the BCPO has been time and again calling on visitors who bring along with them their motor vehicles to leave the same in their hotels and transient houses and use the city’s available public transport system so that they will be able to contribute in lessening the congestions along major roads around the city.
The BCPO-TMB chief explained there is a constant coordination among stakeholders in the city for them to continue their cooperation in the strict implementation of traffic and parking rules and regulations that will help in reducing the occurrence of traffic jams in the central business district because available alternate routes will be utilized in going to and from tourist destinations located in the different parts of the city.
He asserted that the local police force will remain steadfast in the implementation of traffic and parking rules and regulations for the smooth flow of vehicles around the city.
By Dexter A. See