WITH the recorded influx of 80,000 tourists in a recent November long weekend alone, the Baguio City authorities are readying many countermeasures to combat the expected traffic coming in this holiday season.
Mayor Benjamin Magalong assured that traffic experts, including the Baguio City Police Office Traffic Enforcement Unit (BCPO-TEU) and the City Engineering Office Traffic and Transportation Management Division (CEO-TTMD), have prepared methods to ensure that the influx would not cripple travel inside the city’s roads.
According to the mayor, the TEU and TTMD have secured agreement from various public transport and jeepney cooperatives to extend operation hours for their jurisdictions, ensuring that public transport will be available even into the night.
BCPO Traffic Enforcement Head PLt. Col. Zacarias Dausen said they are constantly in touch with Wilson Bumay-et Jr., president of the Baguio-Benguet Jeepney Federation on transport matters, who had also promised their cooperation this tourist season.
Dausen said that for the whole month, the traffic division is prepared to monitor traffic situations and implement necessary adjustments in all bottlenecks within the central business district and all other areas with tourist attractions to avert traffic standstills.
While the roads will remain the same size, Dausen said that there are rerouting schemes in place to try and mitigate the worsening traffic.
As part of the rerouting plans to keep Baguio roads from clogging up, the TTMD have set up a similar scheme where tourists headed to Benguet sites without any plans in Baguio City will be provided a route that involves minimal contact with the city for smoother flow.
Though the city is encouraging that tourists take advantage of Baguio being a walkable city and leave their vehicles at home, there is currently no means to enforce such a system other than the voluntary compliance of tourists.expected to come to the city this holiday season.