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Opinion Sideglance

Baguio police chief responds to traffic proposal

The proposal to adopt certain measures to improve traffic flow in the City of Baguio needs to be studied and assessed further by concerned offices and agencies before it can be adopted by the city.

This is the observation and recommendation given by Police Senior Superintendent Ramil Saculles, City Director of the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) as he officially responded, thru a letter submitted to the City Council, on a proposed traffic scheme submitted by Mr. Joseph Edison Claridades that is hoped to address traffic congestion in the City of Baguio.

The traffic scheme proposal of Mr. Claridades was earlier considered for adoption by the city through a proposed Ordinance authored by City Councilors Maria Mylen Victoria Yaranon and Benny Bomogao which is now under study after having passed first reading in the City Council.

In his comments, BCPO City Director Saculles gave various observations with respect to the proposal of Mr. Claridades which introduces key changes thru the implementation of modern roundabouts at identified critical intersections and changes to promote the easing of traffic at the Central Business District are and some highways in the city.

With respect to the proposal for a roundabout at the Kennon – Military Cut-off road City Director Saculles commented that it might not be applicable for large vechiles such as trucks and buses and that furthermore it will cause vehicular traffic accidents due to the terrain and extent of the area.

A roundabout as defined in the Cambridge English Dictionary is, “a place where three or more roads join and traffic must go around a circular area in the middle, rather than straight across”.

On the proposal for a traffic loop at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) area City Director Saculles noted that it is not applicable since the area is not a suitable passage for various vehicles due to the narrow road which might endanger the safety of pedestrians. For the proposal to have a traffic loop at the Magsaysay Sinkhole area the police chief also commented that it is not applicable since the proposed route is near a critical intersection (Y-shaped) which will cause the queuing of vehicles and create a gridlock in the area since T. Alonzo Street is a One-Way street going outbound towards the Y-shaped intersection.

As to the other proposals of Mr. Claridades such as the BGH roundabout, BGH traffic circle, and a re-routing at the New Lucban-Bonifacio Street-Upper Bonifacio area the City Director recommended that this be further studied and with the further suggestion that the Technical Working Group of the Traffic and Transportation Management Committee (TTMC) conduct a joint ocular inspection on the mentioned streets and roads subject of the proposed traffic scheme to assess the practicability of such proposal, and particularly on the effect of the said scheme along the main route such as in Harrison, Magsaysay and Bokawkan Road.

Finally, BCPO City Director Saculles also recommended that the proposal of Mr. Claridades should be presented during a meeting of the TTMC for the necessary inputs or critiques prior to the passage of the proposed ordinance adopting the same.