Except for Ganza, no other plans for parking in Burnham: mayor

>> Sunday, October 15, 2017

By Aileen P. Refuerzo

BAGUIO CITY – Save for the vacant lot near the Ganza Restaurant, there are no final plans to put up multi-level podium car parking facilities anywhere at Burnham Park.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan clarified this in response to the mounting opposition against the parking project at the city’s main park.
The mayor said there have been proposals to put up multi-level parking structures at Melvin Jones and at the former auditorium site which is now being used as parking area but these have remained as propositions and have not been finalized.
The mayor said he himself is opposed to the construction of parking facility at the area between the Orchidarium and the Children’s Park, the former site of Pantranco and the whole stretch of the city library as proposed by three councilors last May.
The proposed construction as contained in a resolution filed by Councilors Benny Bomogao, Michael Lawana and Faustino Olowan was however not approved by the city council but was referred to concerned city offices for them to come up with an immediate plan to identify roads within the central business district which can be used as parking sites and a long-term parking plan which includes the conduct of feasibility studies on all possible sites.
The mayor appealed anew to residents and those opposing to give the parking project at the Ganza a chance considering that the area has long been serving as such.
“I am just particular about the Ganza area because it has long been used for parking and this project merely intends to maximize its use for the purpose of alleviating the city’s parking problem and generating income for the operation of the park,” the mayor said.
The mayor said the approved plan in the area provides for a simple, four-story podium structure with “green architecture” features.
He invited the movers behind the “Baguio We Want Forum” which spearheaded the signature campaign opposing the Burnham Park parking to thresh out the issues with the city.
“I hope to clarify the issues with them for us to arrive at a common understanding.  We welcome their stand but please also try to see our point about Ganza,” the mayor said.
traffic expert backs podium parking at burnham
Traffic expert Engr. Teodorico Tan who serves as technical consultant of the Traffic and Transportation Management Committee agrees that the city needs to put up parking facilities because without these, motorists are forced to “loiter around further congesting our national, city and barangay roads.”
“If the air we breathe is already polluted, the proposed parking building will not become a contributor to the pollution, but, rather one of the solutions to traffic congestion, that lessens air pollution. If we have adequate parking spaces, motorists have a place to park their cars. This will lessen the vehicles on the road and translate to a better environment,” he said.
“Some sectors say that it affects the aesthetics of the environment. But with the adoption of green architecture in today’s structures, won’t it be able to satisfy everybody? We need to balance our necessity and satisfaction for justified reasons,” he added.
Tan suggested that the multi-level podium be put up at the site of the former city auditorium as the area is now being used as parking for buses and other vehicles.
“The area is ideal as it is spacious and situated at the corner so any construction will not affect the aesthetics of the park.  More importantly, there are no trees in the area that will be affected by the construction,” he said. 
Tan said the government must create approximately 3,000 to 5,000 parking spaces to fill the void of parking needs of the city.
“Even if the construction of 600-plus parking spaces by a mall at Gov. Pack Road will be helpful to this problem, the same is not enough. The government and the private sector must compromise and find a middle ground to address the lingering problem on parking in the City of Baguio,” he said.


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