Capitol gives greenlight for 2 ‘pocket lanes’ in Banilad
The Provincial Board (PB) yesterday approved the use of province-owned lots for two pocket lanes to ease traffic in the Banilad road.
One will be set up in 60 square meters beside the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation’s (ERUF) headquarters.
The second will be across the Cebu Country Club occupying 191 square meters along the Ciudad project site.
Pocket lanes are road setbacks where vehicles can detour and stop for loading and unloading passengers.
These will make “significant improvements” in traffic congestion on the Banilad-Talamban road, said Rafael Yap, executive director of the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management’s (Citom).
Citom’s request to use province-owned lots along Gov. Cuenco Ave. was approved by the PB during its regular session yesterday.
The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III and Citom chairman Ruben Almendras will follow soon, Yap said.
He said no donation of land is needed only a permission to use under a usufruct scheme wherein the regional office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-7) gets to develop the property while ownership remains with the provincial government.
The setup will continue “until one of the parties decides on not using it anymore” for example, when the Capitol decides to develop the property,” Yap said.
“This is an experiment to improve traffic. If the only way to seal the MOU is for the province not to give up the property, then we are amenable,” he said.
The PB earlier deferred the request over questions about the province’s right as owner of the property.
Meanwhile, rerouting of traffic into the Capitol compound is no longer needed.
The road beside the Capitol for vehicles coming from N. Escario to M. Velez Streets is already open after the contractor finished road concreting and widening yesterday.
“The road is now passable after reconstruction. If that’s the case, then the two-road is now back to normal,” Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino said.
Last Aug. 30, an alternative route was used to allow DPWH to finish cementing the asphalt road.
The project was finished in eight days or 13 days ahead of schedule after the DPWH used a special chemical in the concrete mixture to hasten work, said Citom operations chief Joy Tumulak.
Some restrictions remain in effect for motorists passing through Gov. V. Rosa Street inside the Capitol compound.
No blowing of horns is allowed as well as no loading and unloading inside the Capitol compound.
The speed limit of 15 kilometers per hour must be observed. /With a report from USJ-R Intern Chens Judale Plenos
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