Rama: Fly­overs ob­so­lete, won’t solve traf­fic prob­lem

The Freeman - - Front Page - Mary Ruth R. Mali­nao Ali­cia Ivy L. Chua Staff Mem­bers

For Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama, build­ing fly­overs is an ob­so­lete ap­proach and does not solve the prob­lem of traf­fic.

He ex­pressed his sen­ti­ments in a priv­i­lege speech at the City Council in re­sponse to a re­quest from the De­part­ment of Pub­lic Works and High­ways (DPWH) - 7 for the council to ap­prove the cut­ting of trees that will be af­fected by in­fra­struc­ture projects the agency will im­ple­ment in Cebu City.

The projects in­clude fly­overs that DPWH will build on Juan Luna Av­enue cov­er­ing junc­tions of M.J. Cuenco Av­enue and A. So­ri­ano Av­enue; Ser­gio Os­meña Boule­vard cor­ner V. Sotto Street; and along Sali­nas Drive, Gorordo Av­enue, and Veter­ans Drive.

"Per­haps, this re­quest was an off­shoot to what hap­pened to the cut­ting of cen­tury old trees along the Capi­tol area, which did not seek the ap­proval of this Sang­gu­nian. As chair­man of the Com­mit­tee on En­vi­ron­ment, it can be re­called that I de­liv­ered a priv­i­lege speech strongly de­nounc­ing such ap­proval of the cut­ting of trees and im­ple­men­ta­tion of projects within our ter­ri­to­rial ju­ris­dic­tion with­out the knowl­edge, in­for­ma­tion and ap­proval of this Sang­gu­nian which is pro­vided un­der the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Code of 1991," Rama said.

Rama said he has since op­posed fly­overs as a solution to the traf­fic prob­lem here, even when he was mayor.

"By con­struct­ing the fly­overs in the said area, it will not only fail to ad­dress traf­fic con­ges­tion but it will def­i­nitely af­fect the area which is of cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance and forms part of the pat­ri­mony of Ce­buano her­itage and cul­ture," he said.

"I sub­mit that there are ma­jor al­ter­na­tives to ad­dress this peren­nial prob­lem," he added.

PROJECTS

Aside from fly­overs, DPWH is also set to im­ple­ment road widen­ing projects on Juan Luna Av­enue, Ser­gio Os­meña Av­enue, and Sali­nas Drive, said Coun­cilor Jerry Guardo.

“I just wanted to clar­ify al­though the ti­tle of the project is fly­over… it is a multi-year project so, in other words, the im­ple­men­ta­tion, dili siya one-time. So it's phase by phase ang im­ple­men­ta­tion sa project,” Guardo said.

The first phase, which will cost P823 mil­lion, will in­volve road widen­ing on Juan Luna Av­enue cov­er­ing the junc­tions of M.J. Cuenco Av­enue and A. So­ri­ano Av­enue. The money will cover civil works and ac­qui­si­tion of road right of way. Two lanes will also be added on these roads to make them six-lane thor­ough­fares.

Guardo said phase one has al­ready been bid out and awarded to a con­trac­tor. Two other phases are still sched­uled for bid­ding.

Phase two will have a bud­get of P600 mil­lion and will cover works on Os­meña Boule­vard and V. Sotto Street. The roads will be widened by up to 37 me­ters to make them eight-lane roads.

Phase three will cover Sali­nas Drive, Gorordo Av­enue, and Veter­ans Drive with a bud­get of P700 mil­lion. DPWH wants to widen the roads to ac­com­mo­date six lanes.

“There re­ally is a need to widen the road, con­sid­er­ing this is a multi-year project so by phase pa,” Guardo said.

He said the Council does not op­pose the road widen­ing.

“As far as the Council is con­cerned, we don't have prob­lems with re­gards to widen­ing… we re­ally un­der­stand that there re­ally is a need. This will greatly help de­con­gest the traf­fic along this area,” Guardo said.

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