GenSan braces for heavy traffic during holidays

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/6 December) — The city government is set to launch an enhanced traffic management plan to cope with the foreseen influx of visitors in the area in the upcoming Christmas holidays.

Glenvil Gonzales, assistant city administrator, said Friday they are presently revising the city’s traffic management strategies to address possible congestion along major thoroughfares in the area by the second half of the month.

He specifically cited the roads leading to the shopping malls, department stores, churches and other points within the city’s business or commercial district.

“We’re expecting some traffic congestion during the holidays since we are the financial center of the region and aside from that, we have several shopping malls and other major establishments here,” the official said.

The city’s commercial district is shared by Barangays Dadiangas East, North, South, West and Lagao, where four major shopping malls are located.

The local chamber of commerce earlier estimated that around a million people, mostly coming from the neighboring areas, converge in the city for various transactions on a regular day.

Gonzales said they are targeting to start the implementation of the enhanced traffic plan by December 16 or a day before the official start of the city’s two-week Christmas festival or “Paskuhan sa GenSan 2013.”

The festivity, which will end on December 31, will have a soft opening on Friday night with the launching of the month-long Christmas trade fair dubbed “Pamilihan sa Paskuhan” at the city’s oval plaza grounds.

“By that time (December 16), all the yellow boxes for loading and unloading zones, pedestrian lanes and other road marks are already repainted,” he said.

Gonzales said that as part of the enhanced traffic plan, local traffic enforcers will intensify their monitoring against jaywalkers, especially in the major roads or streets.

He said they will implement some re-routing schemes to give way to some important activities of the Christmas festival and other related events.

He said they will also launch a massive information and education (IEC) campaign for the proper use of the assigned passenger loading and unloading zones and pedestrian lanes.

“It will be similar to what we see in some areas in Metro Manila wherein traffic personnel holding megaphones are stationed in strategic portions of the roads to guide pedestrians and motorists as well as call out the traffic violators,” he said.

The official added that the IEC campaign will continue until “following traffic rules and regulations becomes a way for local residents.” (MindaNews)