What was supposed to be a traffic mitigation scheme ended up heavily exacerbating traffic congestion in northern Metro Cebu.
The first day of the implementation of the “no left turn, no crossing” policy in the national highway of Consolacion town on Tuesday, December 8 – a holiday – was marked by significantly heavier traffic buildup that began as early as mid-afternoon.
Consolacion is a first class municipality in Cebu, 20 kilometers from Cebu City.
The policy was agreed upon by representatives from the Department of Public Works and Highways-Central Visayas, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, Consolacion Mayor Johannes Alegado, and League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Cebu president Liloan mayor Christina Frasco in a meeting held on December 1. It is meant to address initial traffic problems in the area.
According to Sugbo News, the official news site of the Cebu Public Information Office, DPWH-7 identified 3 choke points in Consolacion that caused the buildup of traffic in the area during peak hours.
It was then agreed upon to allocate only 4 U-turn slots in the entire stretch of the town’s national highway: two for southbound vehicles and two for northbound vehicles.
Barriers were put up in the middle of the roads to bar vehicles and pedestrians from crossing.
However, residents who experienced the first day of the new rule told Rappler that they got stuck in traffic for about two hours.
Another resident sent a video to Rappler of the heavy vehicular traffic. saying they had to drive until the town’s boundary, waiting in the traffic jam for over an hour, in order to cross to their destination that was supposed to be mere minutes from them.
“Nangutana gane mi sa enforcer ganina. Kurat siya kay holiday daw unya grabe ka-traffic,” he said. (We even asked the enforcer about it. He was even shocked because it was a holiday but the traffic congestion was intense.)
In a text message to Rappler, Alegado said the local government had been monitoring the traffic situation in the area the entire day. He identified the U-turn slots near a gas station and a convenience store to have caused the buildup of traffic.
Alegado added that they are considering opening up more U-turn slots.
“As per discussion with my traffic management team, maybe there is really a need to open up again some of our intersections to lessen the volume of vehicles taking the U-turn. We will appeal this to Governor Gwen and the Provincial Traffic Management Board,” he told Rappler. – Rappler.com