December 4, 2022

The proposed Gibraltar satellite market will be scaled down.
Officials of the City Planning and Development Office, City Engineering Office, and City Buildings and Architecture Office said in the regular session of the city council last Monday that from five floors, the proposed satellite market will be downscaled to three floors and the business area will also be reduced from 3,400 square meters to 2,300 sqm.
The initial cost estimate of the project was P110 million. With the downscaling, the city government will spend only P75M for the construction of the three-floor satellite market.
The downscaled structure will house about 150 rentable stalls, a decrease of 80 stalls or 35.06 percent from the original number, which was 231.
CPDO Chief Donna Tabangin assured despite the reduced number of stalls, all stall owners in the existing satellite market will still be accommodated in the redeveloped satellite market.
Aside from the lack of funding, the results of the traffic impact assessment (TIA) done by the Traffic and Transport Management Division (TTMD) under CEO also account for the downscaling of the eyed structure.
TTMD head Engr. Januario Borillo, submitted to the city council the results of the TIA on the proposed satellite market in compliance with Resolution 124-2021 earlier passed by the council.
The study recommended that the proposed satellite market should either be constructed in a location where traffic flow is light and manageable if the original plan prepared by CBAO will be implemented as it is or be modified and reduced in size to be in conformity with traffic and transportation requirements.
Tabangin said the decision to downscale the structure came about to heed the second recommendation of the study.
The study also indicated even with the modification of the plan, the construction of the business establishment will still contribute to traffic congestion in an already congested area.
The existing number of vehicles passing by Pacdal rotunda and Leonard Wood Road has already exceeded the roads’ capacity, and the establishment of a business area along Ambuklao Road, which is also more or less 50 meters away from the Pacdal Road circle, will further worsen the traffic density in the area, Borillo said.
The study stated the two lanes of Pacdal Road circle, which is a crossroad of seven roads, can no longer accommodate the magnitude of vehicles from the surrounding barangays, which results in the worst level of traffic flow.
The traffic congestion could be eased along the area and the surrounding areas of the proposed satellite market if the roads connected to the Pacdal road circle are four lanes, the study suggested.
To cushion this impact, Borillo proposed the parking space of the building should only be exclusive for persons with disability and senior citizens. He also suggested the building should have a wide setback to be used as a loading and unloading area.
Borillo added those who will go to the satellite market should be encouraged to use other parking spaces nearby, such as those located at Wright Park and Botanical Garden. Other on-street parking spaces will also be designated in the future.
Tabangin said the city government is not discarding the prospect of pursuing a five-floor satellite market in the future as originally planned.
Tabangin added an urban mobility plan is being crafted by the city government which will potentially address the traffic woes in different parts of the city, including the northeastern part where mercantile activities are expected to flourish with the rebuilding of the Gibraltar satellite market and the development of an economic growth node in that area.
Pedestrianization, micromobility, and the use of bicycles will be integrated to form part of the urban mobility plan, Tabangin said.
The CPDO chief said other forms of mobility should be explored to help minimize the public’s undue reliance on cars and public transport which leads to increased air pollution and congestion.
Earlier, the councilors pointed out that the original architectural design resembles that of a mall. They suggested that the design should be Cordillera-inspired and culture-based.
Tabangin assured the councilors their suggestion is incorporated in the modified architectural plan.
The city council requested CPDO to present all plans related to the economic growth node in the northeastern part of the city including the modified plan of the Gibraltar Satellite Market during one of the executive-legislative meetings. – Jordan G. Habbiling