Traffic gridlock returns to Baguio
BAGUIO CITY—With the four-day weekend in Metro Manila, thousands of visitors trekked to the summer capital to enjoy its nippy weather and other sights.
The result was the monstrous traffic jams in most intersections and roads leading to favorite tourist spots like Mines View Park, Camp John Hay and the Lourdes Grotto here.
The city first suffered traffic gridlocks during the Christmas holidays from Dec. 22 to Jan. 1. Last week, motorists from Metro Manila and lowland provinces began arriving on Thursday afternoon, clogging Marcos Highway, Kennon Road and Naguilian Road.
Supt. Evelio Degay, traffic division chief of Baguio police, said about a hundred policemen and volunteers were deployed to direct traffic on major streets.
“We had to seek the help of the police from other units. We also asked barangay tanod to help man the streets in their areas where there were tourists,” he said.
The Baguio tourism office had not yet determined how many tourists visited the city from December to this weekend. The visitors started going down from the resort city on Saturday afternoon.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan has scheduled a traffic summit on Jan. 20 to assess the impact of traffic jams on tourism and to draw up solutions before the staging of the Baguio Flower Festival and the Philippine Military Academy alumni homecoming and graduation, the tourist-drawers in February.
He said the city government intended to change traffic plans, including a number-coding scheme. “We must be prepared because the regular and special holidays scheduled on weekends this year are expected to bring in local and foreign tourists,” he said. Desiree Caluza, Inquirer Northern Luzon
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