BAGUIO CITY – A traffic plan has been mapped out for the expected influx of tourists in the city for the Christmas and New Year break.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan on Wednesday said the Traffic and Transportation Management Committee (TTMC) has firmed up the road contingency measures with the hope of alleviating if not totally avoiding the traffic problems experienced last year.
The mayor said the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) traffic division under P/Supt. Evelio Degay has made the necessary coordination with their counterparts in La Union and Pangasinan for a collaborative effort in monitoring and regulating the flow of vehicles at Kennon Road, Marcos Highway and other major entry points to the city.
The police offices agreed to closely coordinate with each other in ensuring the smooth inflow and outflow of vehicles towards the access points to the city by posting uniformed men and appropriate traffic signs in strategic and chokepoints in areas leading to the city.
Groups will also be tapped to provide motorist assistance in cases of mechanical trouble or road accidents to prevent further travel disruptions, the mayor added.
Degay who presented the traffic plan before the city council last Monday said they expect the “aggregation of vehicles and pedestrians to peak” from Dec. 24-27 and from Dec. 30 to January 3, 2016 causing a moderate-to-heavy level of traffic and shortage of maneuver areas and shortage of parking spaces.
Degay said the police action will be anchored on the effective deployment of policemen in the so-called traffic hotspots, intensified enforcement of traffic laws, posting of additional traffic signs and implementation of traffic systems including the diversion or loop system and the control point concept.
They will designate one-way routes along the following:
*Romulo Drive (from Wright Park pool) through Mines View Park and Gibraltar Road until the intersection at Gibraltar barangay hall.
*From Leonard Wood Road bridge until C.M. Recto Road junction (side of Botanical Garden). Motorists from Pacdal circle shall pass through C.M. Recto Road (Navy Base Road).
*Kisad Road will be a one way inbound route from BGH Rotunda towards the central business district. Legarda Road will be a one way outbound route towards Marcos Highway.
For the alternate routes, M. Roxas Road will serve as an alternate route from Leonard Wood Road towards the central business district (CBD) or La Trinidad and vice versa.
Travellers via Kennon Road may turn right towards Loakan Road going to these places: Philippine Military Academy, Camp John Hay, Baguio Country Club, The Mansion, Botanical Garden and Mines View Park.
Degay said they will also implement road clearing operations to remove parked vehicles and other blockages and will adopt a tourist-oriented policing strategy.
The pay-parking areas are the Ganza, Burnham Park, Old City library, Baguio Convention Center, SM, Ang Dating Daan, Center Mall, Cooyeesan, Marbay, University of Baguio, Abanao Square and the Baguio Cathedral and at the Bonifacio, Mabini, Quezon elementary schools and at the Baguio City National High School.
Roadside parking will be allowed along Naguilian Road near station 1, Shagem St. Abanao St. (9a.m.-4p.m.), Session Road (9a.m.-4p.m.), Harrison Road, Harrison Road fronting Universityof the Cordilleras, Lake Drive, Gov. Pack Road (BCNHS roadside) while contingency one-side parking will be allowed along Kennon Road, Legarda Road, Botanical Garden roadside, P. Romulo Drive and Outlook Drive.
The truck ban will remain to be enforced from 7a.m. to 7 p.m. within the CBD while the lifting of the number-coding scheme has been proposed from Dec. 21.
Degay said the city police will do their best to contain the road situation but the scheme does not guarantee the elimination of traffic jams as they have no control over the volume of vehicles coming to the city.
“The exodus of tourists and vacationists into the city may cause heavy traffic. It is best to leave your vehicles in the safety of your accommodation then commute or walk and enjoy,” the police said./A Refuerzo