Cebu’s traffic lights

By: Benjie B. Talisic, Jessa Mae O. Sotto September 27,2018 - 11:21 PM

The new traffic lights with timer, audio and closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras at SC Cortes corner Plaridel Street, Mandaue City.
CDN file photo

AMONG the cities of Metro Cebu, Cebu City was the first to adapt a modern traffic lights system.

But due to wear and tear, that system no longer works properly.

Obtained way back in the 1990s, many of the sensors and CCTV cameras attached to the system no longer work.

“We really need to replace them,” said Francisco Ouano, Cebu City Traffic Office (CCTO) operations chief.

Former CCTO head Jonathan Tumulak, now the Provincial Capitol’s Focal Person on Traffic Management, recalled that when the sensors were working, Cebu City’s traffic light system was comparable to those used in countries like Japan and Singapore.

The sensors were able to automatically detect the volume of traffic.

Cebu City’s Traffic Control Center (TCC) controls all traffic signals at 70 intersections, a 2017 Japan International Coordinating Agency (Jica) report said.

TCC was built in 1991 and started to operate in 1993.

Using the Australian traffic control software, SCATS, the system’s last upgrade was in 1999.

Ouano said that Cebu City is now looking into the possibility of buying a more advanced traffic lights system.

“Ato ron gipangita is kanang 5 in 1 nga traffic lights. Dili lang kay for the traffic pero apil na for disaster respond and crimes (We are looking for 5 in 1 traffic lights. The type that can be used not just for traffic but also for disaster response and crimes),” said Ouano.

In 2013, Mandaue spent at least P79 million to install a modernized traffic equipment which embedded high-definition cameras and digital clocks in all of the city’s 13 major intersections.

“Kanang traffic light dili makasulbad sa traffic but makatabang lang siya sa pagsulbad sa traffic (The traffic light is not the answer to the traffic problem; it is merely a tool that helps in solving it),” said Traffic Enforcement Agency of Mandaue (TEAM) chief Glenn Antigua.

Additional modern traffic lights worth P5 million will be installed in two of the city’s major intersections along Ouano Avenue and North Road, said Antigua.

An estimated 500 thousand vehicles traverse through Mandaue City daily.

At U.N. Avenue, the city’s main thoroughfare, Antigua said the traffic lights clock is set to about three minutes per cycle because of the large volume of vehicles in the area.

The clock’s timing is adjusted at the command center when traffic eases up.

The stretch of road leading to the Marcelo Fernan Bridge is considered as the one of Mandaue City’s major chokepoints.

Aside from Mandaue, the cities of Lapu-Lapu and Talisay have also adapted a new traffic system.

City of Talisay-Traffic Operations Development Authority (CT-TODA) supervisor Julius Bacarisas said the city has already installed at least seven modernized traffic lights.

Bacarisas said managing Talisay traffic was never easy with only its manual traffic lights system before.

In Lapu-Lapu City, Mario Napule, chief of City Traffic Management System (CTMS), said that at least 10 hi-tech traffic lights were set up around the city.

With the new equipment, Napule said that it would now be easier for CTMS to adjust the timer depending on the volume of vehicles in the intersection.

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TAGS: Cebu’s, lights, traffic
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