Citom says three-month closure of road to cause traffic jams

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

THE Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) board wants the administration of the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño to modify its request to close a portion of Osmeña Blvd., near the church’s bell tower.

Augustinian priests who run the church asked the City Government to close the area for three months during the reconstruction of the belfry, which was damaged by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on Oct. 15, 2013.

Citom Executive Director Rafael Christopher Yap said three months is too long. He said the closure could cause traffic jams in nearby streets.


He said roads close to Osmeña Blvd., such as Legaspi St., M.C Briones and Jakosalem Sts., will be directly affected by the closure because they will have to accommodate vehicles that will be diverted due to the closure.

“The (Citom) board thinks that we close the road when needed,” Yap told Sun.Star Cebu.

Citom observed that on Fridays and Sundays when the road fronting the Basilica Sto. Niño is closed, nearby roads become congested.

Yap said there is enough space at the Basilica that can be cordoned off and be used by workers during the repair of the bell tower.

Augustinian priests wrote Acting Mayor Edgardo Labella and proposed the closure, citing the safety of motorists and pedestrians.

Citom wants the priests to submit a copy of the project's work schedule so they can decide when and how long the road will be temporarily closed to traffic.

“We need also to inform the public so they won't be surprised by the closure," Yap added.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 23, 2014.

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