BAGUIO CITY – The City Peace and Order, Justice and Human Rights Council created a multi-sectoral technical working group (TWG) that will craft the city’s overall traffic master plan in order to effectively and efficiently address the monstrous traffic jams due to the influx of tourists during weekends and extended holidays.
The TWG will be chaired by Councilor Joel Alangsab, chairman of the city council committee on public utilities, with members coming from the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), business sector, religious sector, transport groups and traffic experts from the city.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan underscored the importance of synchronizing the appropriate traffic schemes in order to mitigate the effects of the continuous influx of visitors during weekends and to prevent the bad experience of local residents and visitors during the Yuletide season where there were monstrous traffic jams all over the city.
“We cannot prevent visitors from flocking to the city because we are a preferred tourist destination. What we have to do is implement appropriate traffic schemes that will at least reduce the inconvenience of our people and visitors as we can no longer widen our existing roads,” Domogan stressed.
Aside from the implementation of one way traffic along roads leading to tourist spots, stakeholders recommended the installation of semi-permanent signages in strategic areas along major roads while volunteers must be tapped to man chokepoints in order to ease the congestions.
“We cannot afford to sacrifice the convenience of our local residents and our visitors. We have to be proactive about the matter so that everybody will enjoy the city’s scenery,” Domogan said.
The local chief executive called on city residents to continue providing inputs to the TWG on the appropriate traffic schemes that must be put in place in order to help address greedluck and congestions all over the city.
At the same time, he directed the local police force to continue consulting with their counterparts in La Union, Pangasinan and Benguet so that the necessary interventions would also be put in place in the city’s entrance and exit points in order to address the possible occurrence of more traffic jams in the future.
According to him, owners of private properties like the St. Louis University (SLU) and other education institutions around the city’s central business district area are being convinced to open up their available spaces during weekends to serve as additional pay parking areas apart from the playgrounds of the Baguio City National High School (BCNHS), Quezon Elementary School, Government Service Insurance System among others.
Domogan called on hotel owners to consider offering their customers shuttle services from their lodging areas to their preferred tourist destinations in order to lessen the presence of motor vehicles along the major roads and contribute in easing the expected traffic jams.
He appealed to volunteers who are usually being tapped by the city government during special occasions to make themselves available during weekends in order to help man the traffic along major roads to provide convenient travel to the motorists. By Dexter A. See