BAGUIO CITY – Mayor-elect Benjamin B. Magalong underscored the need to put up multi-level parking buildings in the city to help in effectively and efficiently addressing the prevailing traffic woes and the emission of bad smoke by motor vehicles that pollute the city’s environment.
He said that the local government will try to look for available properties that could be used to put up multi-level parking buildings to cater to the growing parking requirements of the increasing number of vehicles plying the city’s roads daily.
However, the incoming local chief executive claimed that the proposed multi-level parking structures will be erected on lands which are not declared as heritage areas.
Earlier, the local government has been aggressive in pushing for the put up of multi-level parking buildings in the different parts of the city to accommodate the parking requirements of the increasing number of vehicles to lessen their presence on the roads and reduce the pollution being emitted on the city’s air.
The retired police official emphasised that a multi-level parking structure that accommodate more or less 400 motor vehicles will definitely help in reducing the volume of emissions by the said number of vehicles which will greatly help in efforts to clean the city’s air from pollutants, especially from the bad smoke emitted by motor vehicles.
Previous studies conducted by the City Environment and Parks Management Office (CEPMO) and the Cordillera office of the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB-CAR) showed that one of the major pollutants in the city’s air is the bad smoke emitted by motor vehicles that ply the roads daily.
Based on the data obtained from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Baguio field office, the number of registered motor vehicles in the city as of the end of 2018 is over 58,600 while the inventoried available parking spaces in the central business district area is over 2,700.
Further, the data from the LTO la Trinidad field office indicated that the number of registered motor vehicles in the capital town of Benguet is more or less 43,000 as of the end of last year.
The local government had also been previously encouraging owners of vacant properties in the different parts of the city to build their own multi-level parking structures and offer the same to the public to help in addressing the increasing demand for parking spaces around the city, especially during weekends and the conduct of major crowd drawing events wherein thousands of tourists flock to the city to spend a well-deserved break.
Baguio City was planned by American urban planner, Arch. Daniel Burnham, for only 25,000 inhabitants but the city’s population as of the 2015 Census of Population showed that there are already over 364,0000 residents in the city aside from the student population and people who come to the city during the day and transact their business.
The local government recently created the traffic management division under the City Engineering Office to oversee the implementation of appropriate interventions that will contribute in easing the traffic woes in the city, especially in the central business district area.
By Dexter A. See