LESSONS LEARNED: Mayor-elect lays down solutions to avoid tragic road mishaps

SHORT- and long-term solutions will be implemented on Diversion Road in Mandurriao and other major streets in Iloilo City to prevent deadly accidents. (F. A. Angelo)

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

THE tragic road mishap that killed two public school teachers on June 15, 2019 at Benigno Aquino Avenue (Diversion Road) in Mandurriao, Iloilo City should raise awareness on road safety to both drivers and pedestrians.

Public school teachers Joe Marie Osano, 45, principal of La Paz 2 Elementary School; and Alnie Dinah Osano, 36, of Ticud Elementary School in La Paz district were crossing a pedestrian lane when a speeding Mazda MX5 sports car dragged them to their deaths.

On Monday, lone district Rep. and mayor-elect Jerry Treñas met with officials of the Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO) and Iloilo City District Engineering Office to discuss short- and long-term solutions to avoid such road accidents.

Treñas said he already instructed Engr. Rodney Gustilo, head of the Iloilo City District Engineering Office under the Department of Public Works and Highways, to install rumble strips before and after the pedestrian lanes along the Diversion road.

Rumble strips (also known as sleeper lines, alert strips, audible lines, sleepy bumps, wake up calls, growlers, drift lines, and drunk bumps) are a road safety feature to alert inattentive drivers of potential danger, by causing a tactile vibration and audible rumbling transmitted through the wheels into the vehicle interior. (Wikipedia)

Aside from rumble strips, Treñas added that steel grills installed in the middle of Diversion Road will be extended all the way to SM City Iloilo.

The steel grills aims to discourage pedestrians from crossing the very busy highway.

Ika-duha amo ang grills diretsuhon asta sa SM City kay usually dira gatabok ang mga tawo,” he said.

The PSTMO was also told to deploy traffic aides who will guide people, especially early morning joggers, to use the underpass below the Iloilo Bridge that connects the Esplanade sections along Diversion Road.

The access points of the underpass are located at the old Marina restaurant area and the Esplanade entrance.

Treñas said traffic aides should also be present at pedestrian lanes along Diversion Road to apprehend violators and ensure the safety of pedestrians.

Butangan traffic aide para kon magtabok sila may ga-giya sa ila para ma avoid ang tanan nga aksidente,” he said.

Treñas also vowed to increase penalties on traffic rule violators.

Diretsuhon ang 60 kilometer per hour nga speed limit, indi magpasobra. Ang magsobra, dakpon kag multahan. Ang hindi magtabok sa pedestrian lane, dakpon kag multahan kag kon kinahanglan pataason ang penalty and fine pag-abot ko sa July 1, we are going to recommend it to the city council,” he said.

For the long-term solutions, Treñas said he is already coordinating with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for the possible training of traffic aides.

The incoming mayor also said he will look into the revival of the intelligent transport system (ITS) that was initiated by former mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog.

“A possible command center for traffic which can be replicated from MMDA is also one of the future considerations,” according to Treñas.

Once he assumes office on June 30, 2019, he vowed to fully implement the speed limit ordinance in the city.

Regulation Ordinance No. 2015-283 or the Speed Limit Ordinance was passed in 2015 but was only implemented in 2017.

Conlu said the Speed Limit Ordinance of the Iloilo City has not been implemented for lack of implementing rules and regulations (IRR).

Damo ang deperensiya nga nakita sa ordinance so gin-amend na to siya in August 2017. We had a series of meeting in 2018 and it was found out later that it needs more amendments. Our last meeting was in November last year but, we had no idea if na-amend na gid man or wala. Wala siya sang IRR, so kinahanglan siya ubrahan IRR kag i-train ang mga personnel bag-o naton sila masalang sa highway,”