by Hanna C. Lacsamana
An ambitious plan seen to end vehicular traffic and lack of parking spaces in the city’s central business district is due for evaluation.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan signed this week an administrative order creating a technical working group that will study and evaluate the possibility of establishing an off-street multilevel parking facility at the Melvin Jones football grounds at Burnham Park.
Domogan said the group is also tasked to study other proposals for the purpose and recommend the best measure the city should undertake to solve its traffic and parking woes.
The mayor on Wednesday showed reporters a perspective prepared by an Australian firm of the proposed parking facility at Melvin Jones, which he said will not disturb the current state of the entire football grounds as a playing field.
He said the proposed plan involves a one-level underground parking below the football grounds and two-floor structures above ground on each wing of the rectangular open space. The structure may accommodate more or less 2,000 vehicles.
The illustration also shows a tunnel structure connecting the Melvin Jones parking facilities to Harrison Road and Session Road.
The mayor said if the plan is realized, it would be a welcome, permanent breather to the central business district.
“If we could free Session and Harrison roads and other parts of CBD of parked vehicles, then you can just see how clean and spacious CBD would be,” Domogan said. He said even public utility jeeps can also be housed in the Melvin Jones off street parking area.
“We assure the football grounds will continue to remain as it is,” Domogan said. He added the stage will also remain in its location and it may even be improved.
Since it would include the Ganza parking area that used to be managed by the Jadewell Parking Systems Corp., but which is included in a pending case, Domogan said the Jadewell may still opt to join the bidding for the project, as per the terms of a memorandum agreement for Melvin Jones’ development the parking firm has with the city.
Aside from being home to sports activities, the Melvin Jones open area remains the ideal venue for city activities and programs, entertainment, open concerts, and for big crowd events.
The TWG will be chaired by City Engineer Leo Bernardez and co-chaired by City Environment and Parks Management Officer Cordelia Lacsamana.
The members are Architect Johnny Degay, officer-in-charge of the CIty Buildings and Architecture Office, City Budget Officer Leticia Clemente, City Legal Officer Melchor Carlos Rabanes, City Treasurer Alicia Onoza, Baguio City Police Office City Director Jesus Cambay Jr., Councilor Elmer Datuin, City Accountant Antonio Tabin, and Executive Assistant Rafael Tallocoy.