Roadwork delays killing business

Jerome NeriAtty. Jerome G. Neri
The Scrutineer

AFTER almost two years, the short three-kilometer stretch of A.S. Fortuna St. is almost done. People around that area have already suffered too much. Two of my favorite restaurants have closed down due to those road repairs. I’m pretty sure that a lot of businesses in that area suffered so much business losses due to the incompetent delay of the repair of A.S. Fortuna. Now that a new world record has been set for the longest time it takes to cement a three kilometer road, please DPWH, do not ever again let this happen.

The thing about A.S, Fortuna is that P.B. Obial Construction started working on it on February 2014. They immediately destroyed the roads so that it could be cemented. But after destroying the roads in February 2014, they practically stopped and continued maybe four months ago with very rapid work. The question is why did they make the motoring public suffer that long? Now I cannot eat my favorite tonkatsu as that hole in the wall Japanese Restaurant beside Dew Foam is closed. Parking there became impossible for over six months so now it is closed.

BUS CITY. A fleet of MyBus units will be plying the North Reclamation Area route beginning this month, and will serve the cities of Mandaue, Talisay and Lapu-Lapu as soon as the operator’s franchise is approved. Would opening more routes for city buses be a better alternative to the proposed BRT system? (SUN.STAR FILE)
BUS CITY. A fleet of MyBus units will be plying the North Reclamation Area route beginning this month, and will serve the cities of Mandaue, Talisay and Lapu-Lapu as soon as the operator’s franchise is approved. Would opening more routes for city buses be a better alternative to the proposed BRT system? (SUN.STAR FILE)

What was worse with this project is that the people of the contractors did not care at all. They do the major work at the height of rush hour between 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. pouring concrete, causing traffic and instead of some of them helping to direct traffic to make it easier, you see a number of them doing nothing.

Now that nearly all the work is done and the road is fine again, I still believe that the people who were affected and suffered losses due to the unreasonable length of time it took the contractor and the DPWH to finish such a short road deserve some damage compensation. It is but right and justifiable.

BRT FEEDBACK. I have received so much feedback from my previous column about the BRT. As you all know, I oppose it with a passion. People just do not get it. We do not have space for huge structures in the middle of the road. In the areas where the BRT will run half of the road will be permanently closed. Even if we get rid of the jeepneys, there will still be gridlock.

The BRT advocates are very shortsighted that all they see is the route of the BRT. They say that if everybody uses the BRT, there will be no traffic and one can quickly get to his destination in comfort. That only holds true if the person is along the route of the BRT. The greater majority of the Cebuanos do not live or work along the route of the BRT. But because those are major thoroughfares there are more people who pass those roads going to their destinations outside of the BRT route.

Now half the area of these roads (Osmeña Blvd., Escario St., N. Bacalso Ave.) will be permanently closed to accommodate the BRT. There will be a major traffic jam on all roads that lead to the BRT route. This traffic jam will have a knock-on effect, spreading across the whole City of Cebu. In the end, the only traffic free place will be the BRT, while the rest of Cebu will suffer.

When there is a vehicular accident on Escario St. (I have seen and experienced this before) during rush hour, thereby blocking part of the road for about 30 minutes while CITOM is sorting it out, the traffic immediately spreads to the whole of Osmena Blvd, Juana Osmena St., Gen Maxilom Ave., Gorordo Ave., and Archbishop Reyes Ave. The BRT will give exactly the same result… traffic in more streets where there is no BRT to ride, thereby making Cebu a whole lot worse than it is now.

The end goal of these BRT advocates is for more people to take buses/public transportation and leave their cars at home. The solution for this to happen is easier, less costly and more practical than the BRT. Just put safe, reliable, roadworthy, comfortable and clean buses plying different but well planned and organized routes that can be accessible to as many people as possible, and more people will take the bus instead of their cars. Traffic will be less and Cebu will be better. You do not have to make BRT in a very small and select place of the City.

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