Cebu News

During mall opening: CCTO claims success in traffic preparation

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/FPL - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Manageable traffic flow was experienced by mall-goers yesterday at the vicinity of the Robinsons Galleria Cebu at the North Reclamation Area during its opening day.

Cebu City Transportation Office executive director Rey Gealon said no heavy traffic was reported at the corner of General Maxilom Avenue and Sergio Osmeña Boulevard despite the thousands of shoppers that flock to the new mall.

“Manageable traffic is experienced today along General Maxilom Ave and S. Osmeña as well as arterial roads as Robinsons Galleria Cebu opens. CCTO personnel overwhelmed the different intersections in the area to direct and control traffic flow. We did it by the book and to the letter of the traffic management plan. It also helps when the mall management was able to comply its end of the agreement to accommodate with dispatch vehicles of customers coming in,” Gealon said.

CCTO operations officer Joy Tumulak said at least 30 personnel were dispatched as early as 6 a.m. yesterday to man the traffic and to assist the motorists. He said the CCTO has expected heavy traffic but, he was thankful to the mall management for following the traffic plan that contributed to the manageable traffic flow.

He said the office is eyeing to establish a pedestrian lane along S. Osmeña Boulevard for the safety of the mall-goers.

“Nag-himo tag clearing operation kagahapon. Gi-apil pag-clear ang mga container vans na gipangbiyaan diha sa reclamation area. Naka kuha mig tulo ka trucks na,” he said, adding that owners of the trucks should claim the container vans.

Tumulak said the deployment of two 30-seater coasters by Robinsons helped reduce the impact of the traffic flow as most mall-goers took advantage of the free transportation. One coaster served the port area while the other served from Robinsons Fuente to the Galleria.

“Dili sad gyod traffic ang opening sa Galleria compared to the South Road Properties kay daghan ang dan diha sa North Reclamation Area… naay S. Osmeña Boulevard, Benedicto Street, J. De Vera Street, J. Briones Street,” Tumulak said.

The mall launched its Tree Festival Christmas Tree in time for its opening. The mall has installed a giant guitar with different flowers on it to support the province’s brand “Cebu-Where the Heart Sings.”

Robinsons Galleria Cebu, which has 160,000 square meters floor area, is the biggest Robinsons Mall outside Metro Manila.

During the opening, Robinsons Land Corp. president Frederick Go thanked the Cebu provincial and the Cebu City governments for their support.

Robinsons Malls general manager Arlene Magtibay said the new mall will have over 200 tenants.

“Robinsons has two malls along Fuente Rotunda. We thought that it is high time to make our presence felt in a grander and a much more significant way,” Magtibay said.

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III, Vice Governor Agnes Magpale, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, and other officials graced the opening of the mall.

Rama, in his speech, embraced the new development for the city.

“Today, it is inescapable to look back more than seven years ago, Frederick Go and I signed in Summit Circle the consummation of the sale bringing the ownership of the city government to the Gokongwei,” he said.

The mayor, who is facing suspension from the Department of the Interior and local Government, thanked Robinsons for funding the road concreting and drainage project around its mall.

“We should all be happy because another icon has landed in Cebu City, the Robinsons Galleria Cebu,” Rama said.

Robinsons officials also announced that Summit Hotel would be operational next year. (FREEMAN)


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