Gwen creates board to solve traffic woes

CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has issued an order creating a board that would give solutions to the traffic problems along national highways in the metropolitan Cebu area.

The Provincial Traffic Management Board (PTMB) is composed of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Philippine National Police, League of Municipalities, and local government units in Metro Cebu.

“This board shall set the policies that should govern national roads and it shall call on the proper implementing agencies to implement existing laws with regard to the use of national roads,” Garcia said on Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019.

General welfare

Garcia said her creation of the PTMB is in line with Section 16 of the Local Government Code, a portion of which states: “Every local government unit shall exercise the powers expressly granted, those necessarily implied therefrom, as well as powers necessary, appropriate, or incidental for its efficient and effective governance, and those which are essential to the promotion of the general welfare.”

She said “traffic is worsening” in Metro Cebu, adding that it is “already reaching crisis proportions and something must be done.”

Roundabouts

The governor plans to construct roundabouts in intersections. According to studies conducted in the United States, roundabouts reduced vehicle-related accidents.

The factors why roundabouts help reduce the likelihood and severity of collisions: low travel speeds, no light to beat and one-way travel, the Washington State’s transportation department reported in its website.

“A roundabout may need more property within the actual intersection, but often takes up less space on the streets approaching the roundabout. Because roundabouts can handle greater volumes of traffic more efficiently than signals, where drivers may need to line up to wait for a green light, roundabouts usually require fewer lanes approaching the intersection,” reads a portion of the report.

In Cebu City, the famous roundabout is at the Fuente Osmeña Circle.

Less expensive

DPWH 7 Director Edgar Tabacon said the agency may construct roundabouts sometime in 2021 as these are less expensive.

“We are considering it for implementation. So we are still in the stage of studying, but it is very feasible,” he said.

Tabacon said a portion of Cebu South Coastal Road is an ideal area for the construction of a roundabout. He said the DPWH 7 still has to check the roads in towns.

According to the governor, some traffic jams were caused by ongoing road projects. Some projects were delayed due to road right-of-way issues.

Garcia said she would ask judges to expedite the road right-of-way cases, adding that a new law states that a court can issue a writ that claims the road without hearing in seven days. FROM ANV OF SUPERBALITA CEBU / KAL