Cebu News

CBRT component implemented ‘sans permit’: Explanation sought on ‘Link to Port’ project

Caecent No-ot Magsumbol - The Freeman
CBRT component implemented �sans permit�: Explanation sought on �Link to Port� project
An aerial view of the ongoing construction works of the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) Project.

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia has sought an explanation from the Cebu Bus Rapid Transit (CBRT) management on the installation of light posts along Osmeña Boulevard as part of its “Link to Port” component as it was done without a City Hall permit.

The posts have allegedly also caused additional traffic because they were installed in such a way that they occupy a lane.

In a press conference, last Tuesday, he said an explanation would suffice instead of ordering an investigation since the CBRT is a nationally-funded project.

“No need na tingali to investigate (the light posts) because again, that is a national project (and) that’s part of the BRT and the DOTr. Tingali, we will just let them come and explain,” Garcia said.

He said he understands that the posts are key components of the “Link to Port” aimed at revitalizing areas traversed by Osmen?a Blvd. from the P. del Rosario St., junction to Plaza Independencia, through pedestrianization.

“As I’ve said, that is really an important component to the BRT and that is also one of our visions and directions for the city, that kinahanglan nga our roads will already be pedestrianized, kay mao man na ilang gitan-aw nga gikan sa pier, manglakaw na sila padung sa ilang public transportation. So, that’s why our roads have to be more pedestrian-friendly,” the acting mayor said.

During the City Council executive session last June 13, City Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera questioned the absence of concrete planning, as CBRT Project Manager Imbong only presented what seemed like a vision of the pedestrianization of city roads.

As the discussion progressed, it became more obvious that the CBRT management lacks concrete plans for the “Link to Port” project and that it can also just possibly affect the traffic situation along Osmeña Blvd.

Imbong, though, maintained that the Link to Port project is already a part of the entire CBRT project and is just waiting for approval from the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).

Meanwhile, Cebu City Transportation Office Assistant Department Head Kent Jongoy said they only approved asphalt covering as one of the features of the Link to Port project but not the installation of light posts, which had resulted in traffic congestion as they have taken one lane Osmeña Blvd.

In a post on its Facebook page, the CBRT management said the Link to Port project is the Department of Transportation’s way of supporting the Cebu City Government’s vision to maximize the potential of the business district along Osmeña Blvd.

“We aim to revitalize this area through ‘Pedestrianization/ from N. Bacalso (P. Del Rosario Junction) to Plaza Independencia, a project known as Link to Port… to enhance the district's accessibility, promote sustainable urban development, and boost economic activity,” read the post.

To do this, the CBRT management said, it promised to build “wider, more comfortable, and safer sidewalks” along with “designated bike lanes.”

“The said component is also expected to improved social interaction between people, retailers, and businesses plus the provision of delivery bays for easier logistics,” it said.

“It is also ‘pedestrian-centric design’ with lamp posts for improved lighting, especially at night, minimizing motorist traffic to reduce GHG emissions, limiting vehicular accidents and organizing traffic flow with designated loading and unloading bays,” it further said.

The CBRT management also assured that existing cultural and historical structures and monuments in the concerned area would be preserved, to support the City’s tourism endeavors. — Nicholas Jon Malaga/RHM (FREEMAN)

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