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United front

February 09,2016 - 10:13 PM


The latest word concerning the traffic congestion caused by the partial closure of the Mactan-Mandaue Bridge was that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) agreed to open one lane to those coming from Lapu-Lapu City and are  heading to Mandaue City.

That DPWH agreed to do this is an indicator that traffic has gone so bad that opening the lane is the only way for them to avoid a buildup of congestion that will last for a good six months or until July this year.

That is if the agency, through its contractor, works on the bridge repairs and the A. Soriano Street upgrading 24/7, but that’s the most optimistic assessment. There is the weather to consider and businesses need to make good on their deliveries which is easier said than done with the repairs going full blast.

Hardest hit by the traffic congestion that was aggravated by the road and bridge repairs are the manufacturing sector, which suggested that the Bureau of Customs should operate 24/7 to accommodate late deliveries.

Another sector, the schools, are also waiting on the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Manduae City government to discuss a proposal by the business community to allow the early dismissal of classes so students can go home early and traffic would be lighter for deliveries.

This is where the Mandaue City government and the business community, who are most affected by the traffic congestion, can show their collective strength and determination by working out solutions that can reduce to a minimum the inconvenience caused by the ongoing repairs.

Anyone suggesting that these repairs should be rescheduled is either blind to or ignorant of the real need to have it done now, immediately, so that traffic can be easier in the long term.

After having delayed the repairs to accommodate the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings, the Sinulog and the International Eucharistic Congress, both Mandaue City Hall and the Lapu-Lapu City government and their constituents can no longer afford putting off the repairs any day longer.

What concerns the riding public is the assessment by some in the business community that the traffic congestion experienced now may not go away anytime soon even with the government finishing the road and bridge repairs.

But while long-term solutions are ideal, there are immediate solutions such as encouraging commuters to take the ferry in order to ease the vehicular congestion in the two bridges which accommodate a combined 80,000-plus commuters and motorists daily.

With school season ending two months from now at most, an early dismissal of classes can probably be worked out. The 24/7 operation of the Bureau of Customs is something that should also be considered.

Mandaue City has shown that it can solve its problems through a united front, and the Mandaue City government should actively take the lead in resolving the traffic congestion.

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TAGS: congestion, Editorial, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue-Mactan bridge, traffic

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