Cobunpue backs plan to ban cars in Cebu City’s tourist spots
CEBU CITY — World-class furniture designer Kenneth Cobonpue, co-chair of Central Visayas’ Regional Development Council, has welcomed the plan to “pedestrianize” this city’s cultural and historical sites, saying this will be a big boost not only to Cebu City’s image but also to the local economy.
Cobonpue, a world-renowned furniture designer, said the plan of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) 7) to ban vehicles in the city center will also make a big transformation to the city streets, which have become narrow and congested due to vehicular traffic.
“Almost every city in Europe adopts an area, where vehicles are off limits and the people are just walking from one point to another,” he said in an interview here Wednesday.
Some big cities in Asia prohibit cars, he said, adding that some of Shanghai’s shopping centers are in areas where cars are not allowed.
“That’s their main shopping center. If ever implemented here, both locals and tourists will just walk and shop in malls that are just found along the road,” he said.
Cobonpue said allowing pedestrians to dominate the roads would give a boost to local tourism.
Promenades and covered walkways are tourist attractions in themselves, he said.
“Time will come that the people will feel there is no more need for cars in visiting these (pedestrianized) areas,” he added.
The RDC-7 co-chair said the plan may not materialize overnight, but he believes people will learn to adopt new trends, and that pedestrianization will become their new way of life.
Earlier, NEDA-7 Regional Director Efren Carreon told mayors and other government officials in a conference here Tuesday that his office was commissioning a study seeking to “pedestrianize” cultural and historical sites in this city as a way to address road traffic woes.
“Consultants will come from within (the Philippines),” Carreon said. “We are about to award the contract.”
The study will cost P3.5 million, he said. (PNA)