Number of speed bumps on Libramiento Manuel Zavala reduced

By Antonio De Jesús Aguado

In July, following some traffic accidents on Libramiento Manuel Zavala near the entrance to Fraccionamiento las Brisas and in response to requests from residents of Colonia San Antonio and others seeking safer pedestrian crossings, the municipality installed speed bumps (topes) on this federal road, which increased driving time from the Glorieta el Pípila to the Bicentennial Bridge. A few weeks after the topes were installed, because of vehicular congestion and an increase in accidents the municipality decided to eliminate some topes and put in a pedestrian crosswalk to alleviate congestion and increase safety.

Accidents prompt action
On July an accident occurred on the Libramiento that angered residents. A woman and three children got off a bus; one of the children, under 6 years old, was run over by a car while crossing the busy roadway. Two days later, a motorcyclist was hit by a car that was “illegally” turning in to the Fraccionamiento las Brisas. The driver, according to Adolfo Cervantes, head of the Traffic Department, was in serious condition at the hospital.

On July, because of the accidents, residents of the nearby neighborhoods blocked the road for five hours in protest, bringing traffic to a standstill. They asked for the installation of a safe pedestrian crossing and speed bumps. The Federal Police (directly responsible for the road) came, as well as personnel from the SCT (Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes). Mayor Núñez and the secretary of the city council also arrived to help resolve the problem. The road is under the jurisdiction of the federal government, and the traffic director commented that the local government responded because the road crosses through a municipal area, and also because the government must try to work to resolve citzens’ concerns. During the roadblock, cars were diverted to an alternate road in el Malanquín, but larger vehicles were not.

A better solution may still be needed
Cervantes said that currently it is not known how many people use the new pedestrian crossing, but information on this will be gathered in the days to come. He also acknowledged that the speed bumps had at least doubled the time it takes to drive from the Glorieta el Pípila to the Bicentennial Bridge (normally around seven or eight minutes), but now that some of the topes have been removed the driving time has decreased considerably.

Cervantes said that the speed bumps and pedestrian crossing will be in place indefinitely until the SCT comes up with a better solution. A pedestrian underpass below the road, like that in Cerritos, would be ideal, he said. He noted that the solution to this problem will be a task for the next administration, which should work to municipalize that libramiento or build a new one. Cervantes said, “It is an urban problem that needs a macro-solution.”

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