Grand rehabilitation: MMDA to help fix Baguio traffic

Good news to those who are living, staying, or will be visiting the Summer Capital of the Philippines, Baguio City.

Mayor-elect Benjamin Magalong announced a “grand rehabilitation” of the city to manage traffic and oversee peace and order.

Image from Wikimedia Commons

Every summer or holidays, tourists who are visiting the City of Pines are greeted by the city’s fog and traffic.

In order to resolve this issue and the implementation of the grand rehabilitation, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic experts offer to gather data on Baguio’s traffic flow and system to come up with a solution.

MMDA engineers have also developed computer applications to monitor and receive real-time traffic conditions of the city.

Magalong, a retired police general, spoke to officials in the Office of the President about Baguio’s rehabilitation and was offered resources to push through with the project.

To replace Baguio’s old and worn-out traffic lights, the MMDA has also offered to donate second-hand traffic light systems of the Metro.

National Economic and Development Authority commisioned a study on Baguio’s urban carrying capacity and found out that the city’s resources were sufficient for the population of over 350,000.

But according to the study team of Certeza Infosys Corp, Baguio now has over 700,000 population.

Image from Wikimedia Commons

The increase in population, large number of vehicles, and the lack of city roads are the main causes of traffic jams, air pollution, and cut down on the economic productivity of the commuters in the city.

To study the city’s road system, Magalong said he intends to use satellite imagery and other data-gathering platforms. It was also suggested that they develop a traffic engineering center similar to MMDA.

Magalong also sought suggestions on how to improve the jeepney system to discourage private motorists from using the downtown district.

If we have an empowered and reliable jeepney fleet, residents will be discouraged to use their cars for short trips which could dramatically ease city-wide congestion,” wrote Michelle Bacalla-Garcia, an urban management expert aligned with Cordillera Conservation Trust (CCT).