HEADLINE
Bus trucks, jeeps ban soon enforced


DECONGESTING downtown

The city government is embarking on a bold revamp of city traffic routes by banning big cargo trucks, buses, jeepneys and multicabs to ply the city’s main roads during the day, in order to east traffic congestion.

As part of the multi-pronged strategy to resolve the decades-old traffic mess, the city administration is inclined to impose an expanded ban on entry of all trucks and bus to the Central Business District (CBD) commonly known as downtown.

Already the traffic experiment is now going on in certain parts of the day.

Under the proposal presented by a team of academicians, all vehicles of more than four (4) wheels will not be permitted to enter the downtown area from 4:00AM to 9:00PM to further ease the traffic congestion.

Silliman University has taken the lead by allowing the vehicles of their students, faculty and staff to be parked in new parking areas soon to be opened within the campus.

However, some businessmen expressed their anxiety of the new traffic rule as this would entail additional pay for their personnel who will have to render overtime to ensure a steady supply of goods to their establishments.

Councilor Manny Arbon noted that in the interest of the majority, the entrepreneurs can simply adjust the duty hours of their workers who could make the deliveries during the allowable period or utilize smaller vans for urgent and emergency delivery.

The plan to relocate the passenger terminals for out of town jeepneys and multi-cabs is also being seriously considered to further reduce the volume of vehicles entering the CBD while incoming buses will have to take the Bunao-Motong-Taclobo- Bagacay route from 6:00AM to 9:00PM. Outbound buses can pass through its present route.

Mayor Ipe Remollo, who admitted that the traffic problem is a complex problem, is keen on strictly enforcing traffic rules and to secure the commitment of establishments, schools, churches and hospitals to provide parking areas and setbacks within their properties to help clear the roads.

The administration is likewise planning to give incentives to establishments who allow car park sharing like free advertisement spaces, free lighting and beautification of the area, among others.

The experts cited the inherent causes of the traffic jams especially during rush hours: narrow city streets, rising number of vehicles and motorcycles, shortage in traffic enforcers, laxity in enforcing traffic rules, inadequate parking spaces and obstinate refusal of many motorists to observe and comply even the most basic traffic rules.

Sr. Inspector Robelito Mariano, Team Leader of the Highway Patrol Group, observed that many private vehicle owners ignore citation tickets issued by the Traffic Management Office as they could still renew their registration and licenses despite failing to pay for the fees and penalties for traffic violations.

Remollo is also eyeing the deployment of towing trucks to remove illegally parked vehicles as he viewed the method of clamping the tires as unlawful. The city will soon install CCTVs capable of zooming objects as far as 1 kilometer to minimize actual physical contact between violators and enforcers.

The administration will try to coordinate with the Land Transportation Office and would even go as far as suing vehicle owners for not settling their obligations.

But before finalizing the new traffic scheme, which requires an ordinance, Councilor Alan Cordova is pushing for the collection of “realistic and accurate” data that will guide the planners, policy-makers and implementers in refining the new rules so they would be comprehensive, relevant, sensible and practical.

Regardless of the final outcome of the new traffic scheme, Councilor Manny Arbon stressed the need for a sustained and massive information and education campaign for all stakeholders as a necessary tool to secure maximum awareness and compliance.


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