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Editorial | Reclaiming our streets

Again we heard that there is a move to clean up our streets that have become parking spaces of private vehicles. We have wide four-lane streets within the downtown area but for so many years, we only enjoyed a two-way street as vehicles of all sizes line the sides of both streets. Newly constructed roads seemed to have expanded to accommodate more parking spaces for vehicles.

A trisikad driver ferrying passengers along Roxas Avenue commented that our new roads may have been constructed so that private vehicles will have a nice, smooth parking space. This was of course said in jest, but surely, the observation is valid.

Two years ago, the city cracked down on those who put signage in front of their building for the establishment owners who had the audacity to claim the road as an extension of their business establishment. The hawkers who keep space for vehicles on the street for a fee were also rapped by authorities.

Using public space for private use is just one of the problems that worsen our traffic situation. We don’t know if new structures already provide ample parking for tenants and clients but as far as we can see, nothing much has changed.

Parking buildings could probably answer this dilemma. However, no one seems ready to build one in the downtown area even if a tax incentive is dangled. In that case, we have to think of creative ways to solve this never ending irritant in the city.

If the High Priority Bus System will be in place, maybe some of those who drive to office or school will leave their vehicles behind and take the public transport. This however presupposes that there will be enough buses to bring Davaoenos to their point of destination at any given time. It is not only convenient for passengers, it will also decongest the roads as the PUJs will no longer ply the routes.

Maybe this is just wishful thinking, but we still believe that the city has the determination to make our traffic bearable by first, ridding private vehicles parking on our streets and second, by fast tracking the HPBS.
Surely, the citizens can reclaim the streets paid for by tax payers money.

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