LANDING POORLY IN WAZE’S INDEX
    Sweeping traffic reforms pushed in Angeles City

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    CLARK FREEPORT – After being rated poorly in the Waze app drivers’ satisfaction index among cities worldwide, Angeles City hosted here Wednesday its first Traffic Summit that vowed sweeping traffic management reforms that include phasing out of old public utility vehicles (PUV) and even the redesign for a more roomy passenger carriers for tricycles.

    Already, walking funeral corteges are now illegal in Angeles, while only parallel parking along roads are allowed.

    Addressing participants, Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan said “I do not want Angeles to become another EDSA,” as he cited the need to implement both infrastructure and policies to prepare this city for an increasing population amid growing investments.

    City engineer Donato Dizon said some P1 billion is now being spent on the widening of roads and the construction of new routes to decongest city traffic, particularly in the commercial area in Balibago.

    Reny Mariano, chief of the Angeles public transport and regulatory office, said illegally parked vehicles would now be towed, while the routes of jeepneys would be “rationalized” through new routes to ease traffic in their present routes.

    He noted that Angeles hosts 15,709 cars, 4,065 tricycles, 20,883 motorcycles, 2,554 trucks, 14,544 private utility vehicles, and other vehicles for a total of 67,924 private vehicles. This is on top of 3,648 jeepneys, 19 school service vehicles, 232 trucks, and 7,334 tricycles and public use vehicles for a total of 11,241 public utility vehicles.

    He said that tricycles would soon be banned from major highways, even as he bared plans to require them to upgrade their passenger carriers to make them roomy and comfortable for passengers. “The height should be 40 inches from floor to roof, while the width should be 29 to 30 inches. Permits will not be renewed for violators,” he added.

    At the same time, Councilor Amos Rivera, chair of the Angeles council committee for transportation, also said the city is coming out with an ordinance that would require fees for those parking along city streets, as well as the use of idle private lots for public parking.

    “We will finalize details on street parking, but I would like to assure the public that fees generated shall be used for security men, CCTV cameras, and lighting to make sure their parked vehicles are safe,” Rivera said.

    He said that on the other hand, owners of idle lands would be given tax and other incentives for allowing the use of their lands for public parking.

    Only recently, the popular Waze app came out with a Drivers’ Satisfaction Index purportedly reflecting the satisfaction of drivers in 186 cities worldwide and 128 countries. The Philippines landed third from last among the countries, while Cebu ranked the lowest among the cities. Angeles ranked 137th.

    Pamintuan said, however, that the index was unreliable and seemed to have reflected the mere impressions of Waze personnel.

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