February 22, 2024

A social media survey conducted by the City Tourism Office on the Sunday Session Road pedestrianization program revealed more than half of the respondents are in favor of closing the major thoroughfare for trade, arts, and mobility advocacies.

A total of 899 res-pondents answered the survey via Google forms published last year on social media platforms of the city government.

Of the total respondents, 55.2 percent or 496 are in favor of the Session Road pedestrianization program while 44.8 percent or 403 respondents are against.

The result of the survey was presented by City Tourism Officer Aloysius Mapalo during the meeting of the Session Road Pedestrianization Task Force last week on the review of the activity’s social impact.

However, respon-ses to the closure of Session Road on Sundays vary from the six sectors considered in the survey.

Among residents of Baguio, La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, Tuba, and Tublay who answered the survey, 342 are against while 257 are in favor.

For Session Road business owners, 43 answered in favor while 19 are against; for performers, 65 are in favor while three are against; and for tourists, 67 are in favor while 26 are against.

Among Session Road businessmen, 63 are in favor while 11 are against and from the transportation sector, two are against and only one answered in favor.

The survey also gathered the top reasons on why the respondents agree or disagree on Session Road pedestrianization and are included in the review of the task force, particularly on the environmental impact of closing a major road as to air and noise pollution, waste generation and disposal, and traffic repercussions to other routes.

Also being looked into is the socio-cultural impact of the pedestrianization program in an aim to promote urban placemaking and regeneration through re-imagined public spaces as community spaces of shared values and culture; and the promotion of health and wellness through a walkable city.

The economic benefits for the local micro small and medium entrepreneurs (MSME) are also being considered in the review since the pedestrianization has become an attraction that has boosted tourists spending from increased foot traffic. 

In 2022, the city started conducting the Session Road pedestrianization to intensify promotions and marketing of MSME products to the domestic market as a means of economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic while enlivening culture, arts and crafts through the conduct of various culture and arts related activities as a means of maintaining the city’s Unesco Creative City for Crafts and Folk Arts title. – Jessa Mardy P. Samidan