Cagayan De Oro City

Cagayan de Oro mayor creates special team to rid city of traffic woes 

Herbie Gomez
Cagayan de Oro mayor creates special team to rid city of traffic woes 

TRAFFIC BUILDUP A typical traffic build-up on a section of CM Recto Avenue in downtown Cagayan de Oro City.

Bobby Lagsa/Rappler

Officials project an 8% annual growth rate in the number of vehicles in Metro Cagayan de Oro

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – The Cagayan de Oro City government on Tuesday, October 4, created a 40-person team for quick response in managing traffic, as officials project an 8% increase in the number of vehicles in Northern Mindanao’s regional center.

Just like in other growth centers in the country, traffic jams are a growing problem in Cagayan de Oro where half of Northern Mindanao’s registered vehicles are.

Mayor Rolando Uy said the newly-created Quick Response Team-Special Operations Group (QRT-SOP) would respond whenever traffic jams are reported, and manage the vehicular flow to keep traffic buildup from worsening.

Data from the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) showed a daily traffic volume of as many as 40,000 vehicles on the highway from Laguindingan town in Misamis Oriental to the starting point of the Sayre Highway leading to Bukidnon in the eastern village of Puerto in Cagayan de Oro.

The section of the highway – a more than 46-kilometer stretch – cuts across several urban villages in Cagayan de Oro.

Officials said about 15% of the vehicles are trucks.

The 2020 Metro Cagayan de Oro Master Plan projected an annual growth rate of 8% in the number of vehicles in the city and its neighboring areas.

Cagayan de Oro accounts for more than 22,000 or about 50% of the vehicles registered in Northern Mindanao, the document prepared by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) showed.

Engineer Nonito Oclarit, head of Cagayan de Oro’s Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA), said the QRT-SOG would have two teams, each with 20 well-trained traffic law enforcers who will work in shifts daily.

Oclarit said the group will clear roads of illegally-parked vehicles, illegal street vendors, and obstructions.

He said the QRT-SOG is also tasked to keep pedicabs and motorelas (Cagayan de Oro’s version of tricycles) off the highway.

“We know the traffic patterns, and where there are traffic build-ups, especially during rush hours. The QRT-SOG will be in these areas during these times, and in other situations which result in traffic jams,” Oclarit told Rappler.

Oclarit said the traffic problem in Cagayan de Oro has been aggravated by several unfinished infrastructure projects awarded by the DPWH to contractors.

He said the RTA has asked the DPWH to check on the projects, and see why some construction sites have been left idle after contractors destroyed portions of the road.

“These projects which are taking time for contractors to finish are adding to our problems,” Oclarit said.

He said lawmakers may need to see if a law is needed to ensure the speedy completion of DPWH projects that adversely affect vehicular traffic flows. – Rappler.com

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