(August 3 Update: Baguio City Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong calls off the closure of Session Road to allow the same to undergo further study.)
BAGUIO CITY – The city government will implement the pedestrianization of a portion of Session road, particularly the lane going up, on an experimental basis starting Sunday, August 4, 2019, 6 am to 9 pm, that will be done every Sunday this month.
Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong said the implementation of the pedestrianization of a portion of Session road is to help reduce the pollutants in the city’s air coming from the emissions of motor vehicles and to entice residents and tourists alike to walk as part of the city government’s program on developing a healthy lifestyle with physical activities for people.
He added that the evaluation of the results of the experiment will be used to guide policy makers and decision-makers on the possibility of pedestrianizing a portion of Session road even during weekends.
The city chief executive directed the officers of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) to work out the re-routing of the motor vehicles going up through Session road to prevent build-up of traffic due to partial closure of the city’s main road.
Previous studies conducted by some government agencies and offices of the city government showed that among the pollutants in the city’s air are the fumes emitted by motor vehicles plying the major roads of the city daily.
The pedestrianization of Session Road had been proposed by concerned sectors in the city during the previous city administrations but the same was met with stiff opposition by some interest groups and businessmen along the city’s main thoroughfare considering its reported serious repercussions to the business activity in the central business district area.
Magalong urged the utmost cooperation of both the residents and tourists alike to the experiment so that the concerned offices of the city government can gather the needed data as basis in the crafting of the rules and regulations governing the proposed pedestrianization of the said road.
On his part, BCPO Acting City Director Police Col. Allen Rae F. Co said the downhill lane of Session Road will still be open to vehicular traffic that will reduce the possible congestions in different roads in the central business district arising from this temporary closure of the lane going up.
Various sectors in the city expressed their initial support to the planned partial pedestrianization of Session Road, particularly the lane going up, to help in reducing the pollutants in the city’s air and try to entice more people to walk along the city’s main road and enjoy the city’s excellent weather condition.
Session Road is one of the main roads located right at the central business district that serves as link to other major roads and streets.
By Dexter A. See
Photo by Armando Bolislis