The Garapan Revitalization Task Force, led by the Office of Planning & Development under the Office of the Governor, has re-initiated steps to improve the flow of traffic in Western Garapan.
In partnership with the Department of Public Works, Department of Public Safet, and the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, which are members of the GRTF, it was determined that in order to improve overall traffic flow, promote the safety and wellbeing of pedestrians and moving vehicles, and increase public parking space in the primary commercial district of the Commonwealth, certain streets must be designated as one-way streets in Western Garapan, otherwise known as Garapan Core or Hotel Street.
These modifications will help ensure a safer environment for residents and visitors. Upon completion of this entire project, it is estimated that the plan will allow approximately 300 parking spaces available for public use. The Tournament of Champions nonprofit organization, whose mission is to support island beautification and enhancement projects, has donated directional signs valued at $13,385.55, with additional support coming from Safety 1st Systems CNMI, Inc. DPW will be responsible for signage installation. TanHoldings also donated traffic paint for road markings and parking lines.
“The Garapan Revitalization Plan is a major priority for our administration. We believe these steps taken by the task force will go a long way toward relieving the concerns regarding traffic flow and parking in our main commercial district. This is especially important as we continue to strengthen our tourism industry in the wake of this unanticipated economic downturn. We commend OPD, DPW, DFEMS, and the rest of the task force for leading this effort, and we thank the TOC and Safety 1st for their generous contributions,” said Gov. Ralph DLG Torres.
“The overall goal of the GRTF is to transform Garapan Core and its immediate vicinity into a world-class tourist destination in and of itself. The task force has been working diligently towards improving the area, while simultaneously working on the larger objective of securing federal funding to undertake a complete overhaul and rehabilitation of Garapan Core. We are certain these incremental steps will have a positive impact on the businesses in the area and will encourage more residents and visitors to frequent Garapan as more parking spaces open up and streets become more navigable,” said Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios.
“With the recent awarding of $11.2 million funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the GRTF feels it is an opportune time to make some minor improvements to the Garapan Core area, while the full Garapan revitalization project gets underway. The task force has been meeting regularly to discuss ways to improve the overall experience for drivers and pedestrians in Garapan Core. DFEMS reviewed existing fire lanes and determined many can be removed to allow for more street parking. We worked with DPW to map out which streets should be designated one-way, and in which direction, based on their existing traffic plans. What Garapan Core lacks is a sense of order so modifying select streets to make them one-way will allow for parallel street parking on one side, while leaving room on the other for through-traffic and emergency vehicles to pass. One of the top concerns of the community is the lack of parking in Garapan so the task force determined this is the most practical way to alleviate these concerns,” said OPD deputy director Christopher A. Concepcion.
The proposed street directional changes include the following:
· Cpl. Derence Jack Rd. one-way westbound from Beach Rd. to Coral Tree Ave.
· Royal Palm Ave. one-way northbound from Cpl. Derence Jack Rd. to Micro Beach Rd.
· Coffee Tree Mall one-way southbound from Coconut St. to Cpl. Derence Jack Rd.
· Coffee Tree Mall one-way southbound from Micro Beach Rd. to Palm St.
· Ginger Ave. one-way northbound from Cpl. Derence Jack Rd. to Coconut St.
· Ginger Ave. one-way northbound from Palm St. to Micro Beach Rd.
· Plumeria Ave. one-way southbound from Coconut St. to Cpl. Derence Jack Rd.
· Plumeria Ave. one-way southbound from Micron Beach Rd. to Palm St.
· Coconut St. one-way eastbound from Coral Tree Ave. to Beach Rd.
· Date St. one-way westbound from Coffee Tree Mall to Coral Tree Ave.
Installation of the street signs for these directional changes will begin next Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Residents are advised to refer to the diagram in newspapers and on social media at the CNMI Office of the Governor.
The GRTF consists of government agencies and private businesses including DFS Saipan, Ltd., Hyatt Regency Saipan, I Love Saipan, Imperial Pacific Resort, J.C. Tenorio Enterprises, Inc., PDM Promoters, Inc., TanHoldings, and Triple J Saipan, Inc. (PR)