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Del Mar favors underpasses for Cebu

/ 09:39 AM June 26, 2013

WHILE not abandoning his support of flyover projects, Rep. Raul del Mar of Cebu City’s north district said underpasses can be built if only to ease traffic congestion in Cebu City.

“The reason why we have flyovers here is because it’s (cheaper compared to underpasses). But for the sake of (cultural and historical value) then we have to (support) underpasses,” he said in yesterday’s Mega Cebu Vision for 2050 forum.

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Del Mar, who envisioned a network of flyovers to ease traffic in Cebu City, said he will propose this in a conference with Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson and in meetings with “businessmen friends.”

The incoming congressman encountered strong opposition from Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and the Movement for a Livable Cebu. Rama pushed for road-widening to ease traffic in Cebu City.

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“Traffic can be solved partially by widening of streets, at the intersection. But you can’t entirely solve it without a separate grade intervention – which is either you go up or you go down,” del Mar said.

Del Mar said there must be a separate grade intervention in major intersections.

“We need to have a flyover or an underpass. What we’re looking now is an underpass which is less objectionable,” he said.

During the forum sponsored by the Metro Cebu Development and Coordinating Board (MCDCB), del Mar also urged opponents of flyover projects not to insist on their own ideas but to “let the expert ones decide.”

Del Mar also called for a modern mass transport system to be built in Metro Cebu to ensure its continued development of Metro Cebu.

“Whatever it is, whether it’s Light Railway Transit (LRT), monorail, Bus Rapid System, it must be decided and put in place as soon as possible because it should have been done years ago,” del Mar said.

He said he proposed a mass transit system two decades ago but other Cebuano officials couldn’t agree on the type of mass transit system to use for Metro Cebu.

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A mass transport system for Cebu was supported by Architect Joy Onozawa of the MCDCB’s spatial planning committee.

“We need to have a good, effective and efficient mass transport system that even car owners would decide to use the mass transit,” she said.

Del Mar said the Cebu City government is building new access roads and widening of streets.

MCDCB board member Gordon Alan “Dondi” Joseph said a delegation from Yokohama City, Japan said last Monday that they will be sending representatives to Cebu.

“JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) is sending a delegation by the end of July to begin the implementation of a master plan for Mega Cebu. JICA believes that a master plan has to come out within one year,” Joseph said.

The forum was among several activities held in celebration of the Cebu Business Month this June.

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TAGS: Cebu, flyover, traffic congestion
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