Rama: Flyovers obsolete, won’t solve traffic problem
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.
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.