Sunday, July 1, 2012

Modification of Cebu 1980s land use, transport plan sought

EBU CITY -- Forty-eight-year-old Gregorio Codilla hopes there will be sidewalks in all streets in Cebu City so he can move around safely in his wheelchair.
For his voice to be heard, Codilla attended the Sustainable cities Forum held at the CAP Theater Friday afternoon.
He hopes that the plight of persons with disabilities like him will be considered when policy makers plan public infrastructure and transport systems for Cebu City.
As the debate on the benefits of having more flyovers in Cebu City continues, architect Omar Maxwell Espina said a group should be created to study and formulate a new comprehensive land use and transportation plan for Metro Cebu, or an update of the Metro Cebu Land Use and Transportation Study (Mcluts).
He said most of the technical people involved in the Mcluts are still around and can be convened to make another study.
Espina admitted, though, that the Mcluts had the support of political leaders at that time.
“What is not present now is the vision or the leadership. This time it is the private sector that is pushing for this,” he said.
“We need to choose leaders who are into planning, are forward-thinking, pro-active and listeners. They should cooperate with other leaders in the metropolis,” he added.
Dr. Primitivo Cal, former undersecretary of the Department of Transportation and Communication, said many plans under the Mcluts remain unimplemented.
The Mcluts, a land use and transportation masterplan completed in 1981, was the basis for several infrastructure projects in Cebu City.
Cal said plans under Mcluts that were implemented included the Mandaue Reclamation Project, South Reclamation Project, the South Bus Terminal and installation of the modern traffic system at the junction of Osmeña Blvd. and P. Del Rosario St.
Mcluts also identified an access road between F. Cabahug and Abellana Sts. to decongest Gov. Cuenco Ave.
Cal said the 1981 study proposed the widening to six lanes of Gov. Cuenco Ave.
All these would have prevented traffic congestion in the Banilad-Talamban corridor, he said.
Mcluts also proposed a Light Rail Transit from Talisay City to the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA), Bus Rapid Transit, bus lanes from Talisay City to MCIA, hillside access from the City of Naga to Danao City and a third Mandaue-Mactan bridge.
Cal and Espina joined the forum on sustainable cities, organized by the Movement for a Livable Cebu (MLC).
At the forum, Codilla found that his concerns are supported by the MLC, which launched a manifesto Friday, demanding that government build sidewalks, parks and urban green spaces; designate road sharing and lanes for bikers, and PWDs; and set in place alternative transport systems and viable mass transit.
Cal said non-government organizations should be part of the land use and transport study team, adding that private sector participation was vital to the formulation of the Mcluts.
He said Mcluts included plan alternatives that allowed for some flexibility in implementing the plans.
“The idea is to move people, not vehicles,” said Cal.