BUTUAN CITY, Philippines - In an effort to avert more road accidents along the national roads, the regional, provincial and city district engineering offices of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in Northeastern Mindanao (Caraga region) has now implemented the loading and unloading bay along the national roads, it was learned Sunday.
The DPWH, whose objective is to help other law enforcement agencies through their traffic system, issued the new guidelines to field engineers for the design of turnouts loading and unloading bay along national roads in order to minimize if not totally eliminate the occurrence of traffic and accidents caused by loading and unloading of passengers within the carriageway.
Under DPWH Department Order No. 44, regional, provincial and city officials of the DPWH instructed that turnouts or loading and unloading bay should be placed outside the carriageway and should be sufficiently long to accommodate the maximum number of vehicles expected to occupy the space at one time.
The required length of the turnout will be determined considering the length of 15 meters for each bus and 8 meters for jeepney or car. The width of the turnout will be 3 meters for roads served only by jeepneys/cars and 3.6 meters for roads with buses but not wider than 5 meters. Turnouts should not be placed on or adjacent to horizontal and vertical curves that limit the sight distance in either direction.
The specific location of the turnouts will be determined considering the following criteria: must be located where pedestrians are normally concentrated; must be placed near a road intersection but less than 50 meters from intersection; has a minimum distance of 500 meters between two consecutive turnouts; and for two lane two-way undivided roads, turnouts should be provided opposite each other but shall be placed not less than 30 meters apart.
Newly assumed DPWH Region Xlll Regional Director Danilo E. Versola, said all field officers and district engineers are also instructed to provide adequate pedestrian sidewalk and necessary signage, pavement markings and barriers to maximize usage and safe operation.
According to the statistics from the International Road Assessment Program (iRAP) Philippines Project, an average total of 10,000 people die in road accidents each year and pedestrians represent a large portion of the fatalities.
In another development, the government reported a total of PhP 4.74 billion worth of public works projects completed in Caraga region by the DPWH.
According to records of DPWH Region X111, 216 road projects and seven bridges totaling 63.519 lineal kilometers were already completed to include the five road sections of Surigao-Davao Coastal Road Project; the Dinagat Island Road Network’s San Jose, Loreto and Dinagat sections and the construction of Hawilihan-Salug-Sinakungan Road Bolo-Sinakungan section at Esperanza, Agusan Del Sur.
DPWH Caraga also reported that all pump priming and SONA projects already has posted an actual accomplishment of 93.98% for SONA projects and 86.9% for the CY 2009 regional implemented projects. Under the SONA projects Program, 148.997 kilometers of national roads and bridges were constructed, improved and rehabilitated in the Caraga Region.
Region XIII has also accomplished 25 farm-to-market roads or posted an accomplishment of 98.53% and 100 DepEd Schoolbuildings with 97.75%). “These projects will pave way to economic development in Caraga region to generate more job opportunities as well as cater to the progress of agricultural business sectors in this part of Mindanao,” said a DPWH official.
Mike Crismundo, Manila Bulletin