Briones: Crackdown on illegal parking

Publio J. Briones III

THEY'D been warned. That, they can’t deny.

Before President Rodrigo Duterte issued the directive to clear all national roads of obstruction, motorists in Cebu City were quite familiar with City Ordinance 1664, which penalizes day and overnight illegal parking.

The Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) reared its ugly head when it cracked down on violators in August earlier this year, clamping at least 200 vehicles, including government-owned ones, found illegally-parked in a matter of four hours.

So motorists who park their cars on Don Pedro Cui St., which connects P. del Rosario to R.R. Landon Streets, are aware of the risks.

To those who still don’t know, Don Pedro Cui St. is a “tow-away zone.” I initially thought it was pay parking, but I found the post that says otherwise a few steps from the tiny chapel last Friday afternoon, Nov. 22, 2019, a few hours after the CCTO immobilized at least eight cars on either side of the road, including one multicab owned by the barangay.

At any rate, it was a sight to behold. The yellow contraption stood out like an African import playing varsity basketball for a local university. (By the way, congratulations to the Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras for winning the 2019 Cesafi basketball championships. Go, go, go, Cobras!)

The commotion that ensued must have drawn out residents from their houses. Because that was what I saw when I arrived at the office around 3 p.m. on foot. They looked animated, but I couldn’t make out what they were saying. I didn’t notice the clamps at first, you see.

I asked the office guard what was going on and he told me. I must have missed the CCTO personnel by a few minutes.

Cars that parked farther down the road were able to get away. Their drivers must have caught wind of the operation and were quick to leave the area.

I wonder why the CCTO targeted Don Pedro Cui St. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone illegal parking. In fact, I have written about the subject several times, calling the office’s attention to illegally-parked vehicles on major thoroughfares.

So why go after motorists who park their vehicles along side streets and not after vehicles that park on sidewalks? Take for example that stretch of road between Uytengsu and R.R. Landon Streets along Osmeña Blvd. Despite the City’s clearing operation, vehicles continue to break the law.

I have no tolerance for sidewalk parking. Sidewalks are for pedestrians. Not cars. Not motorcycles. I sometimes look the other way when I see vendors but only because they’re trying to earn an honest living. Skateboarders and bicyclists test my patience but they don’t obstruct. Not in the same way that vehicles do.

So why does the CCTO tolerate parking in front of the Goodwill Visayas Credit Corp., the Pacific Printing System and the Abellana Police Station? By the way, I’m not picking on them. It just so happens they’re the establishments I remember.

Is it because some of the violators are patrol cars? Is that it?

You see, if the CCTO is serious about going after parking offenders, it shouldn’t make exceptions.