N. Bacalso traffic eases; no truck ban exemption
THERE will be no exemptions on the truck ban imposed by the Cebu City Government along N. Bacalso Ave. in Barangay Mambaling, which was seen to have eased heavy traffic in the area brought by the start of the underpass project.
According to Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, some mall owners along the highway have requested to be exempted from the truck ban as it affected the delivery of their supplies, but Tumulak said he turned down their request.
“No exemptions. They have to deliver earlier or after the truck ban. Because even if they deliver within the truck ban, it will still be delayed because they will contribute to traffic congestion,” said Tumulak, who was tasked by Mayor Tomas Osmeña to oversee the project implementation.
He said only KMK buses, which ferry passengers between SM City Cebu in the North Reclamation Area to Naga City in southern Cebu will be allowed to pass through N. Bacalso Ave. due to the volume of passengers they carry.
City Hall has imposed a truck ban along N. Bacalso Ave. from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. starting yesterday.
The Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) also said that for this week, they would only give verbal warnings to those violating the truck ban. But citation tickets will be given to violators starting next week, said CCTO operations chief Francisco Ouano.
City Hall also implemented a road use system during peak hours, which only allows northbound vehicles to use N. Bacalso’s open three-lane during the morning peak hours. In the afternoon peak hours, it will be the southbound vehicles that can use this open portion of the road.
Following the implementation of this scheme and the truck ban, Tumulak said he observed a smoother flow of traffic in the area yesterday morning.
“It’s more effective because as of 8 a.m., traffic flow was already normal. The truck ban was also followed although there were still a few trucks that violated the ban. We gave them warnings,” he said.
Unlike last Tuesday when traffic gridlock greeted the first day of the civil work at N. Bacalso Ave., there no longer any complaint from commuters that they were stuck in traffic and were inconvenienced by smoke coming from trucks, Tumulak said yesterday.
As of last night however, southbound traffic was once again heavy, revealed Ouano.
As of 6:30 p.m. yesterday, he said the queue of southbound vehicles reached all the way to the Mambaling flyover, which is around 500 to 600 meters from the intersection of F. Llamas St. and N. Bacalso Ave.
“This is what we usually observe during the evening in this area. But even if there is heavy traffic, it is still moving,” Ouano said.
He added that volume of vehicles was relatively less yesterday compared to last Tuesday, which was the first day the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH)–7 and its contractor started the P683-million underpass project that will take 18 months to complete.
Ouano said many motorists may have opted for alternative routes. Fewer buses also passed through the area yesterday since they were already allowed to pass through the South Road Properties (SRP).
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