■ Jane B. Cadalig
The Traffic Division of the City Engineer’s Office (CEO) needs more time to gather data before it can come up with a comprehensive plan to address traffic congestion in Baguio.
CEO Traffic Division Engr. II Jan Vincent Niñalaga said the office is yet to establish complete data to guide the office direct traffic flow.
“For us to implement our traffic plans, we really need a comprehensive study before we can craft a proposal and so that we have a data to convince people and decision-makers that our proposal is effective and advantageous,” he said.
Among other information, Niñalaga said they need to know how many vehicles are registered in the city and how many are passing only.
“We also need to count how many vehicles are plying certain intersections and what time these are congested. This information is needed so the office can simulate a program that would allow us to assess the city’s overall traffic situation,” he said.
“After collecting these data, we will input them into a software so we can study, for instance, if a rerouting scheme is effective. The study is tedious, kaya matagal,” he said.
While collecting data, Niñalaga said the CEO’s short-term solution to the city’s worsening traffic congestion, remains traffic diversion like what is being done on certain roads that are allowed as one-way on certain hours of the day.
A medium-term remedy, he said, is the collection of congestion fees to discourage people from bringing in their private cars and patronize public transport, use alternative modes of transportation, or walk.
Niñalaga however said while this scheme has been effective in other cities in the world, it has to be studied carefully to make sure it will be beneficial, rather than a burden for the public.
A long-term remedy to address traffic congestion is infrastructure development, such as put-up of monorails or cable cars.
Earlier the city council asked the CEO to address traffic congestion and review the experimental traffic schemes it is implementing. – Jane B. Cadalig