Briones: Not just an eyesore

·2 min read

The proposed flyover project of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) on P. del Rosario St. in Cebu City has been receiving flak before it can even get off the ground.

On June 18, 2021, the Regional Development Council 7 suspended the conduct of a P105-million detailed engineering design study for it along with a similar project on N. Bacalso Ave.

Gordon Alan Joseph, co-chairman of the infrastructure development committee, said they took into account the Philippine Institute of Environmental Planners Cebu chapter paper, which stated that both projects would have “undesirable” outcomes.

First of all, a flyover on P. del Rosario will get in the way of implementing a much-needed rail-based mass transit system in the area, not to mention that a proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) station is supposed to rise on the project site.

It will also affect the image of the city as a historic city since it will end up partially covering the façade of the University of San Carlos, which was designated as a National Historical Landmark. In 2010, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines also declared the university’s Dingman Bldg. as an Important Cultural Property.

Before it insists on implementing the project, the DPWH should look into why cities like San Francisco in California and Seoul in South Korea are tearing down their flyovers. Perhaps, they know something the agency doesn’t.

Also, the proposed flyover is more than a kilometer long. People and establishments along this stretch and in the vicinity will be greatly inconvenienced by its construction.

Businesses that have barely survived the hard lockdown may go under once customer volume will go down because it will since many people will avoid the area unless they have no choice.

I’m speaking from experience.

I used to live in Sto. Niño Village in Banilad and, trust me, I and everybody else who lived along the Ban-Tal corridor lost so many hours sitting in traffic while it was being built.

You’d think the area’s traffic woes would be solved after it was completed. Well, guess what? It was, for maybe a few months, but then the traffic returned. With a vengeance.

According to the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, a non-governmental, non-profit organization that focuses on developing bus rapid transit systems, promoting biking, walking and non-motorized transport and improving private bus operators’ margins, “flyovers provide a short-term illusion of relief from traffic woes.”

Yeah, tell me about it.

Why? The institute said that “by making it easier for people to use their own vehicles, new roads attract even more traffic and repeat the vicious cycle of congestion all over again.”

So what’s the alternative? Well, how about finally implementing the BRT system, which has been on the drawing board for quite some time?

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