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Davao to require property developers to submit traffic plan

Wednesday, June 1, 2009 | MANILA, PHILIPPINES [ BusinessWorld Online ]


DAVAO CITY — City legislators will require property investors to submit a traffic management plan for their projects, as more development and vehicles put a strain on the city’s narrow streets.

Councilor Pilar Braga, committee on transportation chairman, cited the need for this requirement since there is no expansion of the two- to four-lane streets in the central business district. Ms. Braga cited the J.P. Laurel Avenue, which now has four shopping complexes, namely: Gaisano City Mall, Robinsons Cybergate, Damosa Gateway, and Victoria Plaza. Two more malls are set to rise along the same stretch of road: the Ayala Group’s Abreeza project and the 10-hectare SM City Davao North at the old Lanang Golf and Country Club.

Data from the regional Land Transportation Office showed the city’s number of vehicles has been growing at over 20% annually, now approaching about 300,000.

Bibiano Alcuizar, Traffic Management Center chief, noted widespread construction of new buildings, apart from subdivisions, malls, and IT parks.

Mindanao Business Council chairman Vicente T. Lao said Davao City is ready for a light transport system similar to that of Metro Manila to encourage car owners to commute, both to save cost and to mitigate the traffic in the downtown area.

University of the Philippines professor Roberto P. Alabado III said use of the narrow streets of the city could still be optimized with proper planning.

The city government, he said, can replicate what Curitiba City in Brazil is doing — designating specific roads exclusively for public buses that would run according to a schedule. — J. B. Escovilla

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