Opening up the South Coastal Road

By Editorial March 12,2018

Cebu City Hall’s decision to allow passenger jeepneys to pass through the South Coastal Road (SCR) in order to alleviate the traffic congestion caused by the closure of one lane at Natalio Bacalso Avenue is a stop gap measure that raises interesting future questions on allowing these public utility vehicles (PUVs) to use the area to load and unload passengers.

City Hall’s decision came due to the traffic bottleneck experienced at the already narrow access roads that were set up to divert traffic away from N. Bacalso Avenue where an underpass project is underway.

A dry run is scheduled yesterday and enforcement of the new re-routing will take effect tomorrow. Both jeepney operators and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB-7) welcome the palliative traffic measure, but how well it would work will be seen in the next few days?

A Cebu City ordinance that bars passenger jeepneys from passing through the South Coastal Road came about since the road itself is not designed for jeepney use, according to Almond dela Peña, head of Talisay City’s Traffic Operations Development Authority.

While jeepneys from San Fernando, Minglanilla towns and Naga City will stop at a commercial building in the Talisay City — tip of the South Coastal Road, jeepneys from Talisay City heading to Cebu City will have to pass in front of a mall and head through a viaduct before heading to N. Bacalso Avenue.

Therein lies the problem; nine times out of 10, passenger or public utility jeepneys (PUJ) especially those coming from Talisay City will load and unload passengers at the most inopportune time and in non-designated areas which will likely cause traffic congestion along the South Coastal Road.

If passenger jeepneys will be allowed to use the South Coastal Road, we hope Cebu City Hall makes good on its plans to enforce discipline on the drivers to avoid aggravating traffic there.

Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak mentioned about designated special lanes for these jeepneys and requiring these Talisay City jeepney drivers to observe the speed limit.

A valid suggestion came from Councilor Joy Daluz III, who called for the franchising of buses to fetch commuters from the south and drive them all the way to Cebu City.

What is certain for now is that both the administration and opposition camps at City Hall recognize and support temporary traffic solutions to ease the N. Bacalso traffic nightmare including opening up the South Coastal Road to jeepneys.

We hope both the commuters and jeepney drivers fully cooperate with traffic enforcers in maximizing use of the limited road space to avoid inconveniencing the motorists from the south who will also pass through that area.

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