‘Too many private cars worsening Baguio traffic’

>> Tuesday, December 31, 2019

By Jessa Mardy Samidan

BAGUIO CITY – This tourism resort’s narrow roads are being constricted by too many private vehicles causing heavy vehicular traffic almost on a daily basis even as the city government is using experimental rerouting schemes to address this.
This was the assessment of Maj.Oliver Panabang, head of the Baguio City Police Office’s Traffic Management Unit during a recent conference of the Land Traffic and Transportation Management Committee (LTTMC).
Since existing roads have reached expansion limit, Panabang said the worsening vehicular traffic situation may continually be experienced due to the continuous population increase.
“In my own opinion, we will not be able to solve the traffic problem of Baguio in months or in a year but we can work hand in hand to at least introduce specific projects, programs and policies to ease traffic problem,” Panabang said.
He lamented the lack of intervention from the national government to reduce the number of vehicles by regulating the lifespan of private cars. “We have a national law regulating the lifespan of public utility vehicles but none for private vehicles. Old private cars are being sold to those in the provinces but since road expansion has a limit, soon traffic will spill-over to the rural areas,” Panabang said.
The city’s major thoroughfares cater to over 64,000 registered private vehicles in Baguio as reported to Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
About 5,000 registered public utility jeepneys also ply the city streets aside from the 3,200 registered taxis.
Of the major roads in the central business district, Abanao Street caters to over 64,000 passing vehicles daily while 34,000 or more passes through Harrison Road and 30,000 vehicles goes by Magsaysay Avenue.
With all these vehicles going to the CBD on peak hours, traffic is inevitable. Panabang recommends to the LTTMC the ban of private vehicles in the CBD but he was amenable that this may be opposed by the public.
The newly reconstituted LTTMC chaired by the mayor and co-chaired by the Councilor Benny Bomogao as head of the city council committee on public utilities, transportation and traffic legislation is currently working on the review of existing local traffic laws and regulations at the same time reviewing proposals on traffic management.
Rodrigo Adolfo, Supervising Administrative Officer of newly created Traffic Management Unit under the City Engineering Office serving as secretariat of the LTTMC, said the mayor gave a marching order for the creation of a Traffic Management Master Plan with specific actions and operational programs to address Baguio’s traffic problem.


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