City Hall defers ban on private vehicles
The plan of Cebu City traffic authorities to ban private vehicles at the junction of N. Bacalso Ave. and F. Llamas St. in Barangay Mambaling has been postponed following numerous complaints reaching Mayor Tomas Osmeña that the suggested alternative roads are dilapidated.
The ban was supposed to have been implemented to give way to the continued construction of the P683-million underpass project in the area.
“The mayor said he has received a lot of texts that there are still a lot of potholes that need to be repaired on the alternative roads. This is why the mayor agreed to postpone the ban on private vehicles,” said Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) operations chief Francisco Ouano.
The alternative roads include Cabreros St., Tagunol St., Ganciang St., Caimito St., E. Sabellano St., and Ma. Gochan St.
City officials, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 and contractor WT Construction earlier agreed that they would be able to repair these roads before the start of the project’s implementation last August.
However, while DPWH-7 committed to have the roads fixed while the project is ongoing, still a lot of the streets remained laden with potholes.
“Maybe after one or two weeks, we can already implement the ban on private vehicles,” said Ouano explaining that it will now be City Hall’s Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) that will undertake the repair works instead of DPWH.
For now, Ouano said CCTO will continue to dispatch traffic enforcers to monitor and manage the traffic situation in the area which has been suffering from traffic gridlock in the past few weeks after DPWH-7 began the next phase of the underpass project.
The phase involves the closure of all three lanes on the southbound side of N. Bacalso Ave. in the area near McDonald’s with only one lane on the northbound side, in front of Shopwise, available for motorists en route to Cebu City.
“This is why we continue to advise our motorists that if they have no business in the area, they should avoid going there at all in order to avoid causing traffic and getting stuck in traffic,” Ouano said.
Osmeña had wanted to ban private vehicles from passing through the project site in a move to prioritize commuters, who were mostly students and workers on their way to school and work from the south.
Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak, a resident of Barangay Basak Pardo in the city’s south district planned to ask DPWH-7 and WT Construction for a detailed calendar of works for the underpass project.
“We need to know this so we can plan ahead what will be happening in Sinulog, during the opening of classes. But until now, DPWH has not yet submitted the schedule,” Tumulak lamented.
“This is also for the commuters and passengers so they can plan ahead and for the city to also be able to plan immediate solutions,” he added.
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