MMDA recommends traffic signalization for Bacolod

Mayor Evelio Leonardia (right) and BTAO head Col. Luisito Acebuche present the two volumes of the Traffic Management Plan for Bacolod that was recommended by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. (PIO)

By: Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) recommended a new and modern traffic signalization system that can talk to each other to address the traffic problem here.

The recommendation is contained in two volumes of the Traffic Master Plan (TMP) turned over by MMDA chairman Danilo Lim to Mayor Evelio Leonardia at the MMDA headquarters in Manila recently.

Joining Lim in turning over the reports were MMDA general manager Jose Arturo Garcia and Traffic and Engineering Center director Neomie Recio.

Leonardia presented the TMP to the media here in a press conference Tuesday.

Five out of 36 intersections were signalized or installed with traffic lights in 2018, the rest to be installed in the remaining 31 intersections by 2020, the recommendation read.

“This is a giant leap towards achieving our vision to improve our traffic management system,” Leonardia said, as he expressed excitement over the development.

Accompanying Leonardia were Councilor Carlos Jose Lopez, Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) head Col. Luisito Acebuche, City Planning and Development Office head Mary Jean Ramos, and City Development Council vice chairman George Zulueta.

In December 2018, MMDA deployed a 15-man team of traffic engineers and traffic management experts to Bacolod for a 12-day study of the traffic situation, and to propose a traffic master plan which will make Bacolod business-friendly.

Having an efficient and stress-free traffic will ultimately reduce the cost of doing business, the MMDA said.

Bacolod is the biggest city that the MMDA has so far made a traffic master plan for.

The traffic signalization system includes traffic lights for motorists and pedestrians, pavement markings and signage, CCTV monitors and a Command Center.

The MMDA also recommended the passage of an ordinance increasing penalties on traffic violators.

There is also a need for education and training, and capacity-building for BTAO enforcers.

The MMDA said Bacolod has one of the best roads in the country but good traffic engineering is not in place, according to Zulueta.

There is also a need for jeepney modernization and route planning.

Leonardia stressed that commissioning a traffic master plan could cost millions if done by private groups, but MMDA is assisting Bacolod for free.

“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.