TUGUEGARAO CITY, Philippines- As people flocked to the newest mall in the city, road traffic were unusually heavy in the parts of Luna Highway and Mabini Street.
The SM Center Tuguegarao Downtown (SMTD) on Thursday, October 12, opened its doors to the eager mall goers. As of 6 pm on Thursday, more than 31,000 people have visited the mall.
SMTD is located at an x-intersection in Barangay Ugac Sur.
A motorist, who requested for anonymity, said he had experienced a one and a half travel from Rizal Street to SMTD. The usual travel time, according to him, is 10 minutes.
Tuguegarao City government information officer Sherwin Bariuan said the heavy traffic and the big number of crowd for the mall opening were expected.
Bariuan said the city government did not lack preparations and study for the anticipated opening of the mall, but there “are factors that caused heavy traffic.”
Bariuan cited the changes in the supposed original traffic plan.
“Expected naman yan… Meron nang nabuo na plano sa opening ng SM ‘yung ating Traffic Management Group, kaya lang nagkaroon ng pagbabago rin with SM dahil mayroon din silang pasasayawin nga rin sa harapan,” Bariuan said.
He added that the suspension of the classes due to Tropical Storm Odette added to the heaviness of the crowd and the traffic.
He said the city government is now studying the flow of traffic along Mabini Street and Luna Highway to form a strategy on how to ease the traffic around the mall.
“Ngayon, meron naman traffic plan na ginagawa at tinitingnan ngayon ang kalagayan ng stretch ng Mabini Street at Luna Highway. Sa future siguro, mararamdaman po ng ating mga kababayan kung papaano ito stratehikong pinag-aralan,” Bariuan said. Northernforum.net