BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan ordered the administrators of public institutions with wide spaces within the central business district to open the same for pay parking purposes during the highlight of the 20th edition of Panagbenga, particularly on February 28 for the grand street dancing parade and on March 1for the grand float and marching bands competition, to prevent the huge influx of vehicles from clogging the city’s main roads.
Domogan said among the possible pay parking areas in the city include the grounds of the Quezon Elementary School along Upper Session Road, the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) vacant lot in barangay Marcoville, the premises of the Baguio City National High School (BCNHS) along Gov. Pack Road, and the pay parking area along Burnham Park among others.
“We want our visitors to conveniently park their vehicles in the identified pay parking areas so that they can enjoy walking around the city’s central business district area and watch the sterling and dynamic performances of our street dancers and the colorful floats during the highlights of the flower festival,” Domogan said.
Domogan also made separate quests to the administrations of the University of Baguio (UB) and St. Louis University (SLU) to open up their available parking spaces during the festival highlights to accommodate the huge volume of vehicles that are expected to flock to the city bringing in record-breaking number of visitors for this year.
Aside from opening up their available spaces for pay parking purposes, the local chief executive emphasized the need for the private and public schools to guarantee the presence of enough personnel to man the parking areas in order to protect the vehicles from being victimized by unscrupulous individuals who are expected to also come up to the city to pursue their illegal trade.
“We expect a bigger volume of vehicles to come up to our city and bring in a much larger number of visitors that is why we must be prepared to address the expected traffic congestions around the city. We already ordered the police and the public works department to install the necessary signages right at the entrance of the city to guide our motorists,” Domogan said.
He said concerned government agencies and departments of the city government are now busy ironing out traffic re-routing plans in order to help decongest the city’s central business district from expected huge volume of vehicles that will come up for the flower festival highlights.
The city mayor admitted the city’s roads can only accommodate at least 13,000 motor vehicles but the city’s experience during the Yuletide season is that some 45,000 vehicles came up to the city that contributed to the monstrous traffic jams that painted a bad image for the city. The same scenario was repeated during the 5-day holiday in Metro Manila last January 15-19 to pave the way for the visit of Pope Francis.
He cited more force multipliers from the neighboring communities might be tapped by the local police force and the city government to assist in crowd control, traffic management, and peace and order initiatives in order to sustain the peaceful conduct of the flower festival highlights which is expected to draw the influx of some 1.8 million visitors apart from the people coming from the city’s 128 barangays.