Issue of January 5, 2020
     
NEWS
Benguet
 
OPINION
 
 
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Mayor asks extension for Session Rd closure
by Ofelia C. Empian

Mayor Benjamin Magalong has requested the city council to allow the closure of Session Road during Sundays for another six months.

The six months experimental closure of Session Road, ended on Dec. 31, 2019.

Magalong said there are positive feedbacks coming from residents of the closure of the ascending portion of Session Road.

“The feedback is good, as you see every Sunday there is something new,” he said.

During the six-month experimental closure, various activities were conducted in Session Road including the “lechon festival,” longest longganisa line, and sports demonstrations, among others.

The closed lane also allowed artists and locals to make the stretch of Session Road their canvass conducting chalk art while buskers perform.

He said he has submitted the request to the council but it has not been taken up yet.

The mayor recommended the six-month experiment on the closure of the ascending portion of Session Road to allow its pedestrianization and to help in reducing the pollutants in the city’s air.

Initial assessment conducted by the Baguio City Police office showed that traffic on the roads that link up with Session Road build-up during peak hours.

Magalong said the experimental pedestrianization has attracted tourists.

“This is good for business, good for the livelihood of the people. The quality of life is also being affected so it really has its upside and downside. As mayor we are considering all of these feedbacks,” he said.

He said they are looking into addressing the issues surrounding the experimental road closure as complaints arose especially from the public transportation sector.

PUV drivers complained about the tremendous traffic congestion along roads that connect with Session Road during the closure.

Meanwhile, the city council is also studying the possibility of the permanent closure of Session Road to vehicular traffic.

Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan earlier said the proposal to permanently close one lane of Session Road needs to pass through the deliberations of the committee-in-charge and must be subjected to series of public hearings to hear the sentiments of all affected sectors.


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