Consultation with barangays on proposed roadside pay parking sought
Councilor Michael Lawana advised the Transportation and Traffic Management Division (TTMD) of the City Engineering Office (CEO) to consult the concerned barangay officials before designating additional parking spaces in certain areas in the city.
Lawana claimed there are already barangay ordinances enacted to regulate certain roads and streets and that the proposal of the TTMD may be in confict with existing measures put in place by the barangays.
The ABC president stressed that traffic rules and regulations in barangays are based on the actual observations of barangay officials regarding the traffic conditions in their respective areas of jurisdiction. Public consultations with the residents also took place before these barangay ordinances were enacted, he added.
He also stressed that barangay officials have been deputized to carry out anti-road obstruction operations in which they are tasked to undertake the removal of vehicles, equipment, and junked items obstructing city roads and streets.
“The barangay officials know the traffic situation in those areas better than we do. We should not disregard their functions and duties,” he said.
Lawana expressed the importance of constant coordination between government offices and the barangays to avoid implementing proposed policies that overlap or in conflict with existing ones.
Engr. Januario Borillo, TTMD Head, said he is willing to discuss the matter with the concerned barangays to harmonize their proposal with existing barangay ordinances.
During last Monday’s regular session of the Baguio City Council, Borillo presented to the legislative body the proposal of the TTMD-CEO to designate additional parking spaces on the following streets/roads:
E. Quirino Highway fronting Cooyeesan Hotel, Lakandula, Lapu-Lapu, Raja Soliman, Governor Pack Road near Session Road, Shanum Street, Magsaysay Road fronting Iglesia ni Cristo Church, Romulo Drive near the Mansion House, Outlook Drive at Mines View Park, and Leonard Wood Road near Botanical Garden up to LTO-CAR.
The proposal of the TTMD-CEO to designate additional parking spaces stemmed from Ordinance Numbered 68 Series of 2020 which regulates the use of certain roads/streets within the Central Business District by imposing regulatory fees to be collected from vehicle owners parking in those designated parking spaces.
The ordinance stipulates that the TTMD “may designate other roads that may be utilized for regulated pay parking with the approval of the Baguio City Council.”
The proposed parking spaces in those aforementioned places will generate around 229 parking slots. Borillo said those spaces are already being used for parking, but regulatory parking fees will be imposed once the proposal of the TTMD is approved.
He explained that more roadside parking spaces may be identified in the future in order to satisfy the ideal and required number of parking slots in the city which is 5,000 on the low end whereas 10,000 on the high end (during peak season).
According to Borillo, based on their inventory, there are around 2,300 slots in the existing parking facilities in the central business district and 318 slots on existing roadside parking spaces; hence, with a deficit of 2,382 slots with respect to the ideal number which is 5,000 slots.
Based on the report of the TTMD, a monthly net income of P971,399.00 will be generated from the operation of these additional roadside parking spaces.
The TTMD Head reasoned that these proposed additional regulated parking spaces will not only add to the city’s revenue but will also help unemployed individuals. He proposed that 50 parking attendants will be employed to man these additional parking areas.
It can be recalled that terminals/loading stations of public utility jeepneys originally located in Lakandula Street, Lapu-Lapu Street, and Rajah Soliman Street have been relocated to other areas.
Despite Borillo’s claim that objections from affected transport groups and residents had subsided, Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan insisted that concrete plans to ensure the convenience of the riding public should still be put in place.
Olowan likewise requested Borillo to present to the council in the next regular session a more comprehensive traffic management plan for the city.** Jordan G. Habbiling