May 23, 2024

If pictures and personal accounts are not enough to convince the public about how bad the traffic situation in Baguio is, perhaps the numbers will.

In a press conference on Feb. 21, the Traffic Management Unit (TMU) of the Baguio City Police Office has advised residents and tourists to be strategic about their travels plans to and around the city.

TMU Head, Lt/Col. Zacarias Dausen reiterated the long-time recommendation of various sectors for those with private vehicles to commute or carpool to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, especially as the highlights of the Panagbenga on Feb. 24 and 25 will entail yet again the closure of major roads in Baguio.

Tourists are also expected to travel to the city starting from the evening of Feb. 23.

With only 3,600 on-street parking slots available vis-à-vis the number of private and public utility vehicles, Dausen said the best option would be to take mass transportation.

He said private establishments could only accommodate a few, while SM City Baguio, the only building in the city that can accommodate over a thousand vehicles, is expected to be full owing to the sheer volume of vehicles parking there.

Major roads in Baguio have been closed to vehicular traffic beginning midnight of Feb. 24 to give way to the street dancing and grand float parade. Session Road, on the other hand, will remain closed until March 4.

“We only have 3,600 parking spaces. We are telling this so that visitors will commute instead,” Dausen said.

On Feb. 22, the TMU started distributing leaflets containing details of roadside parking and private parking establishments at checkpoints in Tuba, Benguet; Naguilian Road; Kennon Road; La Trinidad, Benguet, and Asin-Nangalisan Highway.  

Dausen also advised the public to plan ahead by studying the traffic situation at areas they will pass by up to the point of destination, ensure their vehicle is in good working condition, and for drivers to stay calm to avoid altercations on the road.

Construction of multi-level parking buildings in various locations in Baguio has long been planned in the city but this has not taken off pending consultation with stakeholders. – Rimaliza A. Opiña