RANDOM SHOTS: Cagayan de Oro City’s traffic woes


Cagayan de Oro City’s traffic problems escalate during rush hour.

With a booming local economy, the regional center of Northern Mindanao has attracted working migrants from all over the region. Not only that, companies based in Manila and other cities outside of Cagayan de Oro are putting up local offices in the city bringing in workers to relocate in the city. As population increases, so does the number of vehicles.


Because of progress, many outlying areas have been developed for residential subdivisions to cater to the growing population. The towns of Tagoloan, Villanueva and Jasaan in the east and Opol and El Salvador City in the west have now become part of the city’s daily economic activities. These four towns host industries and residential subdivisions which have contributed to the city’s progress.



As a major transshipment hub, many large hauling trucks make their way into the city’s ports and warehouses. As a traffic measure, the city banned trucks from entering the city proper at certain times of the day particularly during rush hours in the morning and afternoon. The opening of the coastal road to Opol also allowed the trucks to avoid the bottlenecks at the city proper. However, the eastern coastal road is still under construction thereby prolonging the agony of both motorists and commuters alike. With only two existing parallel roads to the east (National Highway-CM Recto, and JR Borja Extension), the merging traffic obviously produced another bottleneck at Gusa. Recent traffic accidents along the Gusa-Puerto have caused countless hours of stalled traffic. The opening of new wide roads would have alleviate the situation and provide alternate routes for motorists.



CM Recto Avenue and Don Apolinar Velez are the only wide roads in the CITY PROPER …and they are decades old. Corrales Avenue, JR Borja Street and Extension, Julio Pacana, Vamenta Boulevard, Osmena Street and Extension are the other major roads but these are 2-lane roads…4 lanes as described but only 2 are actually used, the other 2 lanes are used for street parking.


Looking for parking space has always been a major headache for motorists particularly at the city proper. Small roads, small city blocks…you’ll spend a long time just looking for a space to park. A mid-rise parking building would have provided a solution where drivers park, pay a parking fee and walk to their destination.


Meanwhile, traffic lights are now NOT FUNCTIONING in three (3) major intersections in the city: (1) Velez-CM Recto, (2) Corrales-CM Recto, and (3) Masterson-Vamenta. Based on experience, several times traffic in the said intersections have caused a grid-lock among vehicles both private and public. This usually happens in the absence of Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) personnel. There are also useless traffic lights installed in several intersections. With small city blocks, intervals are short and sometimes, the traffic lights are not synchronized. Accordingly, they intentionally TURNED OFF these traffic lights. Many are also asking…what ever happened to the CCTV-Traffic Light project?


The RTA lately deputized some 35 new personnel. And they plan to train more…and the city really needs more.


The RTA had succeeded in implementing the anti-jaywalking ordinance at Divisoria. But critics are quick to say it’s easier to implement in Divisoria…why not at Cogon?


There are many overpasses built for the safety of pedestrians crossing major roads. But laziness and convenience overcome the need to access these structures which have become a waste of money. Two are found in Carmen (along Masterson Ave. and along Vamenta Blvd.) near West City Central School. Many don’t use it at all. The absence of center railings also undermined the purpose of the overpass.


The city welcomed the opening of the new JR Borja Bridge. It is the only bridge linking Carmen to the city proper between Ysalina Bridge and Maharlika Bridge. The bridge is said to decongest the two old bridges. It certainly did…but during rush hours, you could see a long line of vehicles stalled at the bridge. Because the bridge has only two lanes, vehicles turning right to Vamenta Blvd are blocked by vehicles going straight to Max Suniel Street when traffic is stopped. Sometimes, the lines occupy the entire length of the bridge.


Macanhan and Licoan Flyovers are the last flyovers constructed. The supposed Patag-Carmen-JR Borja Skyway project was shelved due to high costs.


Opening of new growth centers is a good measure to decongest the city proper. The area around Westbound Terminal in Bulua is a potential growth area.


Do you notice that almost all public utility jeepneys (PUJs) pass Cogon market? Cogon’s traffic situation has been a major headache for motorists and even traffic enforcers. Sidewalk vendors, unabated entry of counter flowing trisikads, illegal street structures, hazard parking, undisciplined drivers … sum them up and you’ll avoid going to Cogon.

The city’s traffic woes are a favorite topic in coffee shops, restaurants and even in normal gatherings…and it will continue to be the talk of the town…until there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

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  1. Mike Farrell says:

    EXCELLENT recognition of the problems we face.

  2. Dean says:

    City government has no plans for traffic. Personnel handling traffic are not qualified as enforcers. There should be a truck ban implemented in the entire CDO (trucks will be allowed only from 10 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. to use the roads). One side parking only in Corrales, Tiano and Capistrano, No Parking in Pabayo, Gomez, Rizal, Hayes and Cruz Taal. Jeepneys should not be allowed in the city proper.

  3. Kurt says:

    Thanks admin for bringing this up. These area all problems we face every single day. The non working traffic lights, the monstrous traffic jams, the proliferation of beggars in Divisoria and major thoroughfares, ang nagkamuritsing nga Cogon ug mga bastos nga mga puv drivers. Makapangutana man sab ta kung asa na ba ato mayor karong panahona besides gracing events and beauty pageants. Hasola!!

  4. Grahame says:

    OK, this is a good article to highlight the PROBLEMS. What I really want to hear and read about are the SOLUTIONS to these problems. What’s the plan(s)? Most cities this size have a town planning department that has a continually updated and implemented town plan. What’s CdO’s plan to overcome the problems listed above? Can the media (eg CdODev) report on this?
    A year or two back in CdODev was an article about an aerial highway starting in JR Borja extension, going past the Cogon market, over the new JR Borja bridge, continuing through Carmen and finishing at Patag Road. This was to be completed by 2019. What progress has been made, or is it all hot air? What is the plan for ring roads of 4 or more lanes to skirt the city center?
    Yes I agree “The city’s traffic woes are a favorite topic in coffee shops, restaurants and even in normal gatherings…and it will continue to be the talk of the town…until there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.” Let’s put the spotlight on revealing the solutions to these problems.

  5. chicco111 says:

    I Agree…. There are lots… LOTS…. of lazy undisciplined drivers in the city. The Jeepney most of all…. Not to mention the idiot who hit my bumper because of squeezing in due to “heavy traffic daw” according to the idiot. I hate the sikad the MOST….who owns the road as if they are legal puvs with child drivers.

  6. TED says:

    High-density, sustainable, and walkable city planning. It focuses more on PEOPLE than on VEHICLES. There are many articles on this.

    • TED says:

      It’s not a solution to make wider roads, because inevitably, there will be more and more people, and more and more cars. The trick is to be mindful and thrifty with space. A better mode of public transportation will definitely decrease the number of private vehicles, but this kind of implementation requires study, feasibility, considering people might not be convinced to use public transportation and not be in the comforts of their air-conditioned Isuzu’s or Toyota’s.

    • TED says:

      Consider how many people are transported by a single private vehicle. That’s around 4-6 people on average. A jeep can carry about 18 or more people. Consider the density if they were on bikes instead, and the health benefits of such. Could improve their performances in their work because of the exercise.

      Taking it further, consider if they were to walk, if the destination were walkable. Consider the advantages of pedestrian traffic to stores. Isn’t that how malls work? In a car, there is no interaction with the environment. When walking, people can buy at will.

    • TED says:

      Singapore should be our model for a city. Being on of UN’s “emerging cities of tomorrow”, CDO needs to plan the city for this future. Plan a long-term plan.

  7. Kolokoy says:

    Ah traffic? ah ok.

  8. Dongkoy says:

    road widening!

  9. Madam Chu says:

    Magbuhat nalang ko ug parlor para ma-beautify sab atu tsaka na city.

  10. carlo iway says:

    I think it should be solved by local and national government!

  11. cdo says:

    asa kita nga siyudad main roads or city roads are legal for parking, velez streets and dv are for parking area, unsa kana klase nga city government hapsay daw….pag mata namo kagay-anons walay pulos nga hapsay dalan

  12. ambot says:

    otro pod ng mga RTA murag mga mao raba pag ando pamataka lang og dupa dupa resulta ang traffic perteng taasa.question nganong kanang dha sa crossing kauswagan dool sa RTA office og engineering department nga molabay ko dha 6am dili man traffic.pagbalik nako 30 minutes lang ang pagitan toa perte na kataas ga linya ang mga sakyanan kay diay gpangtapok sa gadupadupa nga rta crew.toa imbis sulbad sa traffic mao na hinooy hinungdan sa traffic.same as kanang bag o gbuhat nga bridge sa carmen.asa gani ga tapok ang rta crews toa ang traffic abot manila.

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