BAGUIO CITY – The local legislative body will be studying the contending positions of concerned sectors on the proposal to permanently close the ascending portion of Session road before coming out with a collective decision on the matter.
Vice Mayor Faustino A. Olowan claimed that the 6-month experimental period on the closure of the ascending portion of Session road will end this month and the local legislative body is simply awaiting whatever will be the recommendations of the executive department on whether or not to make the closure permanent.
Earlier, the local legislative body approved Ordinance No. 65, series of 2019 closing the ascending portion of Session road for 4 Sundays but the same was extended up December upon the request of Mayor Benjamin B. Magalong for concerned offices to be able to come out with the appropriate assessment on the merits of closing the ascending portion of the city’s main road.
Olowan said that the proposal to permanently close the ascending portion of Session road will have to pass through the deliberations of the committee in charge and public hearings for the concerned sectors to be able to air their sentiments on the matter.
The local legislative body completed its last regular session last December 16, 2019 and will resume their regular meetings on January 6, 2020.
Magalong recommended for the conduct of a 6-month traffic experiment on the closure of the ascending portion of Session Road to allow the possible pedestrianization of the same and to help in reducing the pollutants in the city’s air.
Among the 15-point collective agenda of the present administration that is related to the closure of the said portion of the road include revitalizing the environment and effective traffic management.
Initial assessment conducted by the Baguio City Police office (BCPO) showed that traffic in roads that link up with Session road only happen during the peak hours but most of the time, traffic is normal in the said roads.
On the other hand, public utility vehicle drivers complained on the prevalence of tremendous traffic along roads that connect with Session road when the ascending portion of the same is closed to vehicular traffic every Sunday which significantly affected their operations and caused a decline in their projected income that day.
The concerned operators and drivers suggested that those conducting a study on the effects of closing the portion of the said road should not confine themselves to those who are directly benefitting from the closure of the road but they should expand their interviews to ordinary motorists who have been affected by the closure of the road every Sunday.
The vice mayor urged concerned sectors and those that have been affected by the closure of the ascending portion of Session road to formally submit to the local legislative body their position on the matter so that the appropriate committee will be able to include the same in deciding whether or not to recommend its permanent closure.
The pedestrianization of Session road is one of the identified strategies identified to help in encouraging the residents and tourists to walk around the city and lessen the pollutants in the city’s air./Dexter A. see