BAGUIO CITY – Kennon Road, the shortest route from the lowlands up to the Summer Capital and the scenic zigzag road, will be open to one-way vehicular traffic going up starting midnight of April 1 up to midnight of April 3 to allow vacationers to avail of the fastest and safest way in reaching their desired destination in the city.
Engr. Edilberto P. Carabbacan, regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH-CAR), said the new traffic scheme specifically for Kennon Road will only be on an experimental basis which will pave the way for the implementation of future workable traffic schemes along the roadline, especially during long weekends where there will be heavy influx of motorists from the lowlands to the city for them to spend a well-deserved break.
The implementation of the one-way traffic scheme going up is one of the priority projects of Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson in order to entice vacationers to consider spending their holidays in the Summer Capital or in any other part of the Cordillera.
“Secretary Singson’s heart is with us because he is going out of his way to find ways on how to easily come up to the city or any part of the region for a well-deserved vacation, especially during prolonged weekends and holidays,” Carabbacan stressed.
However, he disclosed the DPWH will be providing a window period for Kennon Road residents, specifically from 11 am to 12 noon and 5 pm to 6 pm from those coming from the city proper and 11 am to 1 pm and 5 pm to 7 pm for those coming from Camp 1, Tuba, Benguet.
During an emergency meeting with the city’s Traffic and Transport Management Committee (TTMC) Friday afternoon at the City Mayor’s Office, Carabbacan disclosed Manila-bound vehicles starting from midnight of April 1 up to midnight of April 3 will have to take Marcos highway as the alternate route.
According to him, DPWH-CAR, in coordination with the personnel of the Tuba municipal police station and the Baguio City Police Office (BCPO) will be installing appropriate signages and distributing information and educational materials to all motorists for them to be guided accordingly on when to travel along the said road.
He cited flagmen will also be deployed along the 34-kilomete route, specifically for every kilometre, in order to guide motorists, especially during the window period to prevent the occurrence of untoward incidents that might spoil the vacation mood of concerned motorists.
Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan said the new traffic scheme along Kennon Road is considered to be an added come on to visitors in order for them to continue frequenting the Summer as their preferred destination during prolong weekends and holidays.
“Let us closely work with concerned government agencies, law enforcement officers and local government officials so that the one-way Kennon Road traffic scheme will be successful,” Domogan added.
He said whatever lessons will be learned from the implementation of the one-way traffic scheme along Kenon Road will allow the introduction of innovations to the scheme that will be implemented along the roadline during prolonged weekends and holidays.
Aside from the flagmen and signages that will be visible along the stretch of the roadline, volunteers from the Baguio-Benguet Public Information and Civic Action Group (BBPICAG) will also deployed along the roadline to serve as force multipliers to ensure the safe travel of motorists during the Holy Week break when coming up to the city.
In order to instill discipline in the observance of the one-way Kennon Road traffic scheme, Domogan recommended to the DPWH-CAR personnel that all vehicles of residents living along the communities in Kennon Road will be having identification stickers so that non-residents will not abuse the traffic scheme just to pass through the roadline even if they are not living in the area.
Domogan ordered BCPO traffic personnel to deploy adequate law enforcers along the 10-kilometer jurisdiction of the city in order to ensure the smooth flow of traffic en route to the city while Carabbacan will coordinate with the elements of the Tuba municipal police station for similar deployments along the Tuba area for the safety of motorists.
Domogan and Carabbacan appealed to all motorists to cooperate with the implementation of the new traffic scheme along Kennon Road so that its success will help concerned agencies craft schemes that will be applicable along the roadline in the future.
By Dexter A. See