June 23, 2024

The city government’s resolve to instill road discipline was put to test when City Hall and the Baguio City Police Office stood their ground against a municipal trial judge of another province, who was recently issued with a citation ticket by a lowly traffic enforcer for illegal parking and violation of the Number Coding Ordinance.
This judge has issued a summon to the traffic enforcers to appear in his sala and explain why they should not be cited for contempt.
The thing is this administration says there are no sacred cows in the implementation of the Comprehensive Traffic and Transportation Ordinance of Baguio. In turn, a resolution was passed by the city council and signed by City Mayor Benjamin Magalong declaring said judge as persona non grata.
This was to serve as a warning not only to public officials, but also to anyone, especially visitors, that the city’s policy on traffic excuses no one, not even the chief executive himself.
There’s more.
A series of photographs showing a Baguio traffic cop issuing a citation ticket to an unattended vehicle of the Land Transportation Office parked on a designated PUV terminal lane gained public approval since it became viral on social media last week. Such act by a traffic cop was highly commended by the public.
We laud the earnest efforts of the traffic enforcers of the city government and BCPO for doing their job well despite intimidation and harassment. Implementing the Comprehensive Traffic and Transportation Ordinance is even more crucial now to ensure the smooth flow of traffic in an already congested Summer Capital.
The BCPO Traffic Enforcement Unit has reported that illegal parking and obstruction of sidewalks and roadsides are the major causes of gridlock in the city, especially during rush hours. But countless motorists, especially visitors, remain unmindful of the welfare of the public affected by traffic and violations persist on a daily basis.
In a city where there are more than 60,000 registered private and mass transport vehicles with the LTO and thousands more vehicles from nearby towns and other regions plying our streets, road discipline and courtesy are highly required to avoid traffic chaos.
Therefore, it becomes appalling when those from the halls of power, they who are supposed to be role models, defy simple traffic rules.
And in a city where road expansion is almost impossible, especially within the central business district, strict implementation of the anti-illegal parking policy remains the best solution yet to the worsening gridlocks, as the ideal number of private and mass transport vehicles traversing city roads and streets at any given time should be 10,000 to 15,000.
As a forecast, gridlocks will be strongly felt in Baguio during peak seasons despite the planned construction of multi-level parking facilities in some identified areas within the CBD. Parking facilities, including the newly-opened park center of a giant mall, will only accommodate as much as 4,000 vehicles.
With expressways now making travel to Baguio much faster, the scenario will be of more vehicles traversing city roads. Combined with a shortage of parking facilities, streets will be unbearable in the future.
Traffic hampers progress and productivity, especially in a city where tourism plays a major role in the local economy. In fact, the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Baguio has blamed worsening traffic for the consistent decline in tourist arrivals and hotel accommodations since the start of the year. With less revenues, workers in the industry are affected.
Yet it only takes discipline – self-imposed and enforced – to help solve this urban problem the natural way and without a cost.