TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines – The extension to the experimental traffic scheme starts tomorrow, January 6, re-opening former two-way streets and identifying new one- way streets as a result of the first experiment conducted December 15 to December 30 last year.
Vice-Mayor Bienvenido De Guzman said the 7th City Council has approved City Ordinance No. 17-2016 titled “City Ordinance Suspending the Existing Traffic Ordinance and Adopting the Experimental Traffic Scheme for Sixty Days on January 6 to March 12, 2017” in a special session today as requested by Mayor Jefferson Soriano.
Earlier, local officials here drew flak from commuters who bashed them on social media a day after the first experimental traffic scheme was implemented December 15.
“It was chaos all over and worsened the already- troubled traffic situation in the city,” one basher said.
Commuters reported to Bombo Radyo-DWGR of tricycle drivers who have unreasonably charged them from the usual Ph10 fare to as high as Ph100.
‘The unusual routes we take to bring passengers demand more fuel aside from the delay in the traffic itself,” a tricycle driver told the Northern Forum.
The 12,000 strong tricycle drivers have been eyed as the major culprit in the worsening traffic congestion in a city of mostly two-lane streets.
In an unofficial survey conducted by The Northern Forum, businessmen who parked in front of their establishments were likewise considered contributory.
Col. Vince Blancad, chief of the Peace and Order Safety Unit of the city government said it was unfortunate the experiment was implemented during the height of the holiday rush and at least two vital streets have been closed to traffic because of the floods.
Vice-Mayor De Guzman admitted that the first experiment was met with mixed reactions from all over.
“What is important, we did something for the people. What is bad is, if we never lifted a finger on the problem. We accept suggestions for improvement. After all, it is a trial scheme,” he said.
He admitted that the first 15 days experiment paved the way for the local government unit to actually see the daily realities of traffic in the city at the same time, gathered enough suggestions and information from stakeholders which the council included as amendments to the extended version of the experiment.
Reacting to talks that an in-depth study on the traffic situation in the city was never done, De Guzman said it was the Metro Manila Development Authority and their local counterparts who jointly held a series of studies and came up with a voluminous report on it.
He said that Mayor Soriano was about to implement the traffic project when he was suspended.
Under the scheme, violators are not apprehended but advised to take the right road. After March 12, the city government will again convene stakeholders and the public for consultation before the actual post-experiment traffic scheme will be implemented. -Northernforum.net