December 6, 2023

Session Road is one of the most if not the most important roads in Baguio City. It is the main road akin to EDSA and exits it every day. Vehicles, pedestrians, and commuters wanting to go wherever destination in and around the city have to pass by Session Road. The shortest and most convenient route to anywhere in Baguio City is Session Road.
In fact, so important is Session Road to the people of Baguio City that it is more than a road. It is also the central commercial district where business teems and all other activities that make Baguio thrive exist.
The best cafés, restaurants, professional and commercial establishments are all there for the taking. It is from there that Burnham Park, Cathedral, the public market and the biggest malls are most accessible. All that is needed or wanted are within walking distance. Hence, it is no exaggeration that people from all walks of life converge in Session Road.
To characterize Session Road as the heart of Baguio City is an understatement. It is more than that. It is the life of the city. Though other places in the city have developed and tried to take away the glory attached to it, their attraction completely pales in comparison. By its historical significance alone, it stands out among the other tourist destinations located in the city. A visit in Baguio City is not complete without seeing and appreciating Session Road.
So significant is Session Road to the daily lives of the city’s inhabitants that for a day that it is closed, the closure affects their very livelihood and convenience. It is quite noticeable that every time Session Road is closed, deliberately or accidentally, traffic all over is affected. Even the far-flung areas like Marcos Highway seem to come to a standstill.
This is so because all roads in Baguio City are narrow and the system we follow is a one-way traffic scheme that leads to just one ingress and egress.
Surely, therefore, if Session Road, which is the main thoroughfare where vehicles and people converge is closed, it clogs the minor roads and stalls the free flow of traffic. It is like clogging a main artery that puts a gag-stop on the flow of blood in the veins.
Hence, it is disturbing that the city has found it easy to close Session Road every Sunday and during special occasions notwithstanding the obvious inconvenience it causes.
For the sake of accommodating commercial enterprises or sometimes, under the guise of artistic and literary demonstration where artists and children are encouraged to draw whatever is on their mind using Session Road as their canvas, Session Road becomes off-limits to vehicles. I don’t have to detail the effect of the closure because motorists feel it; only, they are keeping their complaints to themselves.
The reasons of those in-charge in closing Session Road on Sundays and special occasions range from limiting the pollution in the central business district to raising revenue for the city. Really? The practicality of the reasons advanced are more imaginary than real. Maybe in the past when there were less vehicles and people. But not now when people have to run from one place to another with no other recourse than to use Session Road.
For one, there are other places that are more appropriate for trades and fairs. Melvin Jones or the frontage of City Hall is an ideal site where the Sunday stalls may be erected without the least disturbance to motorists and pedestrians. Should they put up their stalls in Melvin Jones, they could do their trades and fairs not only on Sundays but every day.
In this manner, the revenue collected on Sundays from these stall owners will be multiplied seven-fold, thereby accomplishing the intent of raising more revenue at the same time avoiding the inconvenience caused to the people who need to pass by Session Road during these contemplated days.
Besides, there are already more than enough establishments in Session Road to satisfy our cravings. Any additional competition, albeit temporary in character, is a mere surplus.