By NITZ ARANCON
THE Roads and Traffic Administration is anticipating the worst scenario as it prepares to manage what could be another vehicular traffic nightmare in the city when SM CDO Downtown Premier opens later this week.
Lawyer Jose Edgardo Uy, chairman of city hall’s Task Force Hapsay Dalan, said they were anticipating some 15 thousand to as much as 21 thousand vehicles around the new mall on CM Recto Ave. within a 10-hour period on Friday, May 12.
Uy called CM Recto Ave. “overused,” the reason why the RTA would start today the implemention of a new vehicular traffic scheme that includes a ban on trucking in the area.
The RTA would implement a truck ban from the Agora junction all the way to the Kauswagan junction, vice versa, from 5 am to 9 pm, seven days a week. The ban applies to trucks weighing 4,500 kilograms and heavier.
The ban covers Osmena Street from Hayes Street (from Trendline area) all the way to Gaabucayan Street.
The ban would cease to be in effect from 10 pm to 5 am, Mondays to Sundays.
Sherwin Cabactulan of the RTA’s Traffic Engineering Department said trucks with perishable goods may be allowed during the ban hours provided that the vehicles do not have a gross weight of 4,500 kilograms.
Cabactulan also said the RTA would strictly enforce a “no parking” rule on portions of both sides of CM Recto Avenue, Osmeña Street, Capt. Vicente Roa Street, Corrales Avenue, Luna Street, Agudo Street, Valenzuela Road, and Florentino Street.
Cabactulan said the RTA would go very strict on trisikad, habal-habal (motorcycles for hire), ambulant vendors, road obstructions, and unauthorized terminals for all kinds of vehicles used for public transportation.
Uy said the RTA was preparing for the worst traffic scenario in downtown Cagayan de Oro but it would not advise people against checking out the new mall on Friday.
“Lisod man na kon atong ingon ang mga tawo nga dili moadto sa SM Premier anang adlawa. Dili man na mahimo,” Uy said.
Uy said the RTA operations today would serve as a dry run but traffic law enforcers would issue citation tickets to erring drivers.
He said the RTA would finalize the new traffic scheme after a one-month dry run and if seen to be effective, RTA would recommend it for approval by Mayor Oscar Moreno so an executive order can be issued.
Councilor Romeo Calizo, chairman of the city council’s roads and traffic management committee, said the existing traffic laws and regulations in the city are enough, and there is no need for new ones.
Calizo’s committee met yesterday with city hall’s traffic officials and representatives of various malls, including the SM group, and other business establishments, and barangay officials. They discussed the RTA’s new traffic scheme that would be implemented today.