City bans closure of Burnham Park roads for more than a day

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio Domogan has signed a city council resolution prohibiting the closure of Lake Drive or other interior roads within Burnham Park for trade fairs, circus, one-stop shop product shows, agricultural or merchandise displays, exhibits or any activities held or sponsored by the city government or private entity that necessitates closure of the roads for more than one (1) day.

“It was observed that every time Burnham Lake Drive is closed, relentless traffic jam occurs within the Central Business District (CBD) causing inconvenience and lost opportunities to the public. This usually happens during the conduct of commercial trade fairs or other activities that last for a month or more,” the measure claims.

Resolution number 400, series of 2018, states that the inconvenience and traffic woes are exacerbated by the closure of Session and Harrison Roads for the night market, thereby constricting major thoroughfares within and outside the CBD.

The city council’s committee on public utilities, transportation and traffic legislation also requested the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO), City Engineer’s Office’s (CEO) traffic and transportation division, and the United Metro Baguio-Benguet Jeepney Operators’ and Drivers’ Federation for their comments, recommendations or impact assessment of the closure of Burnham Lake Drive usually during festivities like the Panagbenga.

The BCPO suggested that the committee should look for more feasible areas that possibly do not occupy main thoroughfares to “avoid the build-up of traffic congestions and multiplication of bottleneck areas.”

The CEO recommended that the Panagbenga’s landscaping and trade fair be relocated outside the Burnham Park area to prevent the closure of Lake Drive, among other recommendations. Meanwhile, the transportation federation observed, among others, that the closure of Lake Drive has a great effect on traffic on nearby roads like Harrison Road including the Bayanihan area and other places./Gaby Keith