Traffic congestion in Consolacion eased up following the implementation of new rules starting December 8, according to Consolacion Mayor Johannes Alegado.
He said that on the first day of the implementation of the “no left turn, no crossing policy,” northbound vehicles were free-flowing. However, the southbound lane continued to have chokepoints because u-turn slots are narrow.
“December 9 and December 10 makita gyud nato ang dako nga kausaban in comparison sa mga days before December 8. December 8 was the day nga makaingon ta’g trial sa atong giplano nga scheme kay kadto nga scheme ni come up pinaagi sa usa ka consultative meeting nga gipangulohan ni Governor Gwen og mao to ang solusyon nga atong nakit-an,” he said.
“But then sa maong solusyon, nakita pa nato nga duna pay problema, dili siya 100 percent perfect nga solusyon,” Alegado said.
He added that on December 9, the new policy was lifted in some intersections: near the public market, church, and the residential areas in the town’s mountain barangays.
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia called for a meeting Friday, December 11 with Alegado and Liloan Mayor Christina Frasco, among other officials to discuss the traffic situation in the northern Cebu town.
New u-turn slots have also been identified in the boundaries between Liloan and Consolacion and one in the boundary along Jagobiao, Mandaue City before the skywalk to further ease up the traffic.
Trucks with 4,500 kilograms gross weight and above will also be banned from passing in the said highway along Liloan, Consolacion and Mandaue City from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily effective December 18 at 12:01 a.m.
Currently, Liloan and Consolacion towns are implementing the 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. truck ban.
Garcia sent a fair notice to all engaged in delivery vehicles about the new truck ban hours and asked to regulate the passage of huge trucks to help ease the traffic in the area for the benefit of the general public.
Feliculo Lecciones, traffic enforcement chief in Consolacion, said the ongoing digging for the optic fiber cable of the telecommunication company DITO has also contributed to the traffic build-up in the town.
Instead of two southbound lanes, only one is being utilized.
Alegado said DITO has been working for a month in the area and its project contract is set to end on the second week of December.
With this, Garcia called out the new telecommunications company and its contractor to address the matter.
Traffic volume counts and footage taken from December 9-11 showed that the new traffic scheme is working in the national highway in Consolacion.
Based on the data presented, from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. on December 9, around 1,466 private vehicles, taxi cabs, vans, and public utility jeepneys; 821 delivery vans, trucks, buses, and trailers; and 1,703 motorcycles passed through the northbound lane.
For southbound, there were 2,444 private and public utility vehicles; 664 delivery vans, trucks, buses, and trailers; and 3,675 motorcycles.
Around 126 buses and trucks utilized the u-turn slots.
On December 10 from 6:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., 1,995 private and public utility vehicles; 691 delivery vans, trucks, buses, and trailers; and 3,264 motorcycles passed by the highway going north.
Meanwhile, 2,402 private and public utility vehicles; 788 delivery vans, trucks, buses, and trailers; and 2,068 motorcycles traversed southbound.
There were 208 buses and trucks used the u-turn slots.
On December 11 as of 6:30 a.m. to 10: a.m., the private and public utility vehicles reached 1,930; delivery vans, trucks, buses, and trailers were 616; and motorcycles were 4,041.
For southbound, there were 1,344 private and public utility vehicles; 652 delivery vans, trucks, buses, and trailers; and 3,770 motorcycles. Around 193 buses and trucks used the u-turn slots.
Alegado thanked Garcia and the collaborative efforts of the local governments of Liloan and Mandaue City and other concerned agencies which made the new traffic scheme possible.
“Nagpasalamat gyud mi ani ni Governor Gwen, who led us nga ma-implement ni. Nagpatawag sa DPWH who placed all the barriers nga dili na masudlan, dili na pataka og labang ang vehicles. Na put in order na ang tanan,” he said.
Frasco said the immediate solution has created long-term effects although it needs cooperation from all.
“Dako kaayo ni og natabang sa mga katawhan nga niepekto na ang traffic mitigation ug management scheme nga atong nasabutan especially sa mga nanarbaho padulong sa siyudad ug pauli pud,” she said.
“Every disruption, in a sense that there is change, will never be smooth sailing in the first one or two days. So, the build up was expected in the south and the good thing is that karon, wala na’y non-moving build ups, rather, free-flowing na siya,” Frasco stressed.
“I believe that this traffic scheme, which is seeing success, is really the product of collaboration and cooperation between Liloan and Consolacion ably led by Gov. Gwen Garcia,” she added.
Also present in the meeting are the representatives of the Consoalcion and Liloan traffic enforcement offices, Mandaue City Government, Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7, Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7, Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board (LTFRB) 7, Consolacion police, and the Provincial Engineering Office.
Garcia will meet the same group next week to solve the traffic situation in the North Coastal Road Highway.
She is also set to meet the local officials of Talisay City, Minglanilla and City of Naga to address the traffic concerns in southern Metro Cebu. (Mylen Manto)