ILOILO City – The Department of Public Works and Highways 6 – City Engineering District Office has started painting rumble strips on Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. Avenue, also known as Diversion Road, in Mandurriao District.
One of the U-turn slots on the avenue was also closed.
Rumble strips are strips of painted, ridged or grooved road surfaces alerting inattentive drivers of potential danger ahead.
The Public Safety and Transportation Management Office (PSTMO), on the other hand, started deploying more personnel to Diversion Road to guide pedestrians crossing the eight-lane avenue.
These were just a few of several immediate short-term measures recommended to curb if not totally eliminate road mishaps on the avenue, one of the busiest thoroughfares in the city.
Just this June 15, Joe Marie Osano, principal of La Paz II Elementary School and wife Alnie Dinah, a Master Teacher at Ticud Elementary School also in La Paz district, were hit by a speeding sports car while crossing a pedestrian lane on the avenue. They died of severe head and body injuries.
According to City District Engineer Rodney Gustilo Gustilo, the rumble strips were painted 20 meters before the pedestrian lane where the Osanos were hit.
The U-turn area that was closed, on the other hand was that nearest to the foot of the Diversion Bridge.
More rumble strips would be painted on the avenue in the days to come, said Gustilo yesterday.
Rumble strips cause a tactile vibration and audible rumbling transmitted through the wheels into the vehicle interior, thereby alerting the driver.
Gustilo said all the 29 pedestrian lanes on Diversion Road would be painted with rumble strips.
The June 15 accident prompted Mayor-elect Jerry Treñas to revive the stalled intelligent transport or traffic system proposed as early as 2017 by then mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog as a long-term solution to traffic congestion and vehicular accidents.
But since this could not be instantly realized, Treñas bared easily implementable short-term solutions such as putting up grills from the spot where the couple was hit up to SM City Iloilo to prevent pedestrians from crossing the avenue; putting rumble strips a few meters before and after pedestrian lanes; duty hours of traffic aides must start early – 5. a.m. instead of the current 8 a.m.; and for all pedestrian lanes on the avenue to have traffic aides ready to assist pedestrians
“If there is a need to increase the penalties against those who do not follow traffic laws and ordinances, we would recommend such to the city council,” said Treñas./PN