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Half of Baguio's Session Road to be Closed to Traffic on Sundays

Baguio has lost much of its old charm. Perhaps reducing traffic will bring it back.
IMAGE WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
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This is a long time coming. Half of Session Road in Baguio City will be closed to vehicular traffic every Sunday beginning August 4, 2019.

Finally, there will be some respite from the noxious fumes that blanket the city’s main thoroughfare and CBD. There had been many proposals from concerned environmental groups and (even the academe) to close off Session Road to vehicular traffic and limit access to pedestrians only. This forward way of thinking—which would have returned some of the city’s lost charm—was always shot down by the local politicians who were scared that business would be affected in a negative way.

Many cities in developed countries have pedestrianized areas of historic and commercial interest, and with a positive effect. Tourism booms, there is less pollution, and the overall well-being of residents is vastly improved. It baffled and frustrated Baguio residents like me because, why we couldn’t do the same? Until now.

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With the new guard at City Hall, things are finally changing.

Here is the Facebook post from the Public Information Office of the City of Baguio:

“Heads up! Whole lane of Session Road going up from the frontage of DBP to Session rotunda will be closed to vehicular traffic from 6am to 9pm every Sunday starting August 4, 2019,” the statement reads. “This is an experimental scheme in support to the plan to pedestrianize Session Road.”

The announcement also includes the following guidelines:

  • Entry of vehicles going up Session Road from Calderon Street will not be allowed.
  • Vehicles crossing down Session Road from Mabini Street is allowed.

Although this scheme is experimental, we do hope that it leads to a cleaner, greener, and smog-free central business district. As Baguio City is my hometown, it breaks my heart to see what a mess it has become. With positive moves like this, there’s a glimmer of hope that things may still change for the better.

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Hopefully, this scheme becomes permanent. Like seven-days-a-week permanent. There’s hope for it yet.

This story originally appeared on Topgear.com.phMinor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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