January 29, 2023

Students are back – and so is traffic congestion.

Traffic congestion has been reported at its heaviest last Aug. 13 and 14.

Lt/Col. Roldan Cabatan, head of the Traffic Enforcement Unit of the Baguio City Police Office, reported the traffic congestion was due to the influx of people to stores that sell school supplies and tourists.

As contingency plan when in person classes resume tomorrow, Aug. 22, Cabatan said the BCPO will ask SM City Baguio to open its Rambakan Drive as an access road going to North Drive.

School administrators will also be reminded to adopt the “drop and go” scheme where those with cars should not linger at drop-off areas to allow the continuous flow of vehicles.

Another traffic reduction measure he proposed is to lessen the number of pedestrian lanes at Session Road and instead build another overpass connecting SM City Baguio and the BPI building at the corner of Session and Gov. Pack Roads.

Over 10 years ago, SM City Baguio proposed to build a pedestrian overpass at the area but this was shelved after businessmen based in Session Road protested the idea saying the proposition stands to benefit SM for the management intends to divert pedestrian traffic to the mall.

Cabatan said he is aware of this plan in the past but as traffic congestion continues to be a problem in Baguio, concerned officials and stakeholders should reconsider.

Citing a 2019 data of the Land Transportation Office, Cabatan said there are 45,000 registered vehicles in Baguio.

Cabatan said narrow roads and lack of parking spaces, remains a challenge among traffic “experts” in Baguio. He appealed to the pedestrians and motorists to strictly adhere to traffic rules and regulations to complement traffic reduction strategies implemented by the BCPO-TEU. – Rimaliza A. Opiña