Traffic authorities are preparing mitigation measures to address traffic logjams with the expected influx of holiday tourists and conduct of Christmas activities in the city for the whole month of
December. Mayor Benjamin Magalong assured that traffic experts including the Baguio City Police Office Traffic Enforcement Unit and the City Engineering Office Traffic and Transportation Management Division continue to be on top of the situation implementing measures and adjusting existing ones to address the problem.

Both offices had engaged public transport groups both from the city and Benguet province to obtain their commitment to continuously provide units especially during night activities and despite the
traffic snarls to prevent stranded passengers. Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) Traffic Enforcement
Head PLt. Col. Zacarias Dausen said they are constantly in touch with Wilson Bumay-et Jr., president of the BaguioBenguet Jeepney Federation on transport matters and the latter had given assurance of their cooperation especially this peak tourist season.

Dausen said that for the whole month, the traffic division is prepared to monitor traffic situations and implement necessary adjustments in all bottlenecks within the central business district and all other areas with tourist attractions to avert traffic standstills. He said they have ready rerouting schemes for intersections and bottlenecks in critical areas and these are being reactivated as the need arises.

To lessen the number of vehicles within the city’s area of responsibility, the division is preparing a ‘vacation lane’ scheme where visitors intending to go to Mt. Pulag, Sagada, Atok and other tourist destinations in Benguet, Mt. Province and will have no intended business in the city will be provided alternative routes for them to get to their destinations without having to pass through the city.

He said they expect this scheme to reduce significantly the number of cars entering the city at any given time. Dausen also reiterated the city government’s appeal for tourists to forego using their
cars in roaming the city and instead avail of public transportation or walk to their destinations.
“Our city is a walkable city. Instead of wasting time and money doing the roundabout to look for parking spaces, why not make use of our jeepneys or taxis or better yet, walk,” he said.

Dausen said last weekend (Nov. 24-26) saw a sharp increase in vehicles plying the city’s tourist attraction routes resulting in slow traffic movement. City Tourism Officer Aloysius Mapalo said tourist arrival estimate during those days was at 80,000. He said a similar trend is expected in all
weekends of December.

Aileen P. Refuerzo/Baguio-PIO

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