A 15-man team of traffic management experts from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) arrived in Bacolod yesterday to study the traffic situation in the city for 12 days, or from last night to 13, and propose a Traffic Management Masterplan.
Mayor Evelio Leonardia stressed yesterday that commissioning a traffic master plan could cost millions if done by private groups, but MMDA is assisting Bacolod for free.
Leonardia thanked MMDA chairman Danilo Lim for “graciously granting his request for a free traffic masterplan”.
“Also, we believe that the best group that we can get to help us come up with a masterplan for traffic in Bacolod is the MMDA. Not only are they equipped in academics, they have actual experience,” Leonardia said.
The mayor met with MMDA Traffic and Engineering Center director Neomie Recio, who led the team, and her 14 traffic engineers upon their arrival to Bacolod yesterday afternoon.
The mayor and key executives of the city, including City Administrator John Orola, City Development and Planning Office head Mary Jean Ramos, Secretary to the Mayor Edward Joseph Cuansing, City Development Council vice chairman George Zulueta, Executive Assistant (Retired Superintendent) Celestino Guara, Executive Assistant Ernesto Pineda, and Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) head Supt. Luisito Acebuche, met with the MMDA team for a briefing.
Joining the briefing are BTAO and Traffic Management Unit (TMU) personnel, and key officials of the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO).
Recio said they will conduct a field study and data gathering on Bacolod streets starting last night until Dec. 13.
She will deploy traffic engineers and experts, especially on the busiest intersections of the city, on peak hours in the morning and in the afternoon.
They will compare the traffic volume against the traffic capacity of the roads, and identify traffic generators and problems in certain areas and make recommendations on how to solve them.
After the 12-day study, they will bring the data to their office in Manila for anaylsis and evaluation.
The analysis will take three to four months, and their evaluation shall be the basis for a Traffic Management Masterplan for Bacolod.
Leonardia said Bacolod has the fastest-growing population in Western Visayas in terms of volume of motor vehicles.
Records of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) showed that in 2017 alone, there were a total of 92, 827 registered motor vehicles, or an increase of 7,849 from the 2016 figure of 84,978 vehicles.
The 92,827 vehicles in Bacolod account for 22.31 percent or almost 1/4 of the total number of vehicles in Western Visayas, the LTO report also showed.
“Given the complexities of a growing city, traffic becomes an inevitable epidemic, but in spite of this, we will still try everything possible to have it well-managed,” the mayor said at the briefing.
And to do it correctly, scientifically, and expertly, we need the MMDA to help us, he added.
It can be recalled that Leonardia and his traffic executives met with MMDA officials in Manila for several times, to finalize the study of the traffic situation in the city and make recommendations on how it can be improved.
The MMDA performs planning, monitoring and coordinative functions, and in the process exercises regulatory and supervisory authority over the delivery of metro-wide services within Metro Manila.* (NDB)