Safety ramp proposed for el Caracol
By Antonio De Jesús Aguado
More than 40,000 vehicles drive down the Libramiento Manuel Zavala every day. Following an accident on February 11, in which a tractor trailer careened without brakes down El Caracol, resulting in minor injuries to three people, the Traffic Department proposed building a safe braking ramp. In other traffic-related news, Mayor Trejo said he will work toward the completion of a freeway in northern Guanajuato.
Between 2000 and 2005, two major car accidents occurred near the El Pípila traffic circle. The first occurred when a dump truck lost its brakes on El Caracol and crashed into a wall where the current gas station was being constructed. In this accident the driver and a bricklayer who was working on the gas station died. The second accident occurred years later, when another trailer with faulty brakes collided with a compact car, killing the driver of the automobile and his companion.
On January 11, a trailer carrying tons of iron rods traveling along El Caracol lost its brakes. A traffic officer made a call to the 066 emergency system, and emergency teams quickly stopped all vehicles near the traffic circle to avoid a catastrophe. When the trailer reached the glorieta, the driver turned to the left and the vehicle overturned, causing damage to a taxi and minor injuries to three people. The driver ran away.
Eleazar Romero Domínguez, head of the Traffic Department, said that in high season more than 120 car accidents occur in the city, 50 percent on Libramiento Manuel Zavala, although they usually are not as major as the accident on February 11. In order to avoid these kinds of accidents in the future, the Traffic Department has proposed to the Urban Development Department the construction of a 150-meter safe braking ramp near Nuevo Pantoja. The Urban Development Department must send the proposal to the city council for approval, and the final decision would come from the Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (Federal Traffic Department), because it is a federal road. Romero said that in the past the local government has made some decisions concerning the libramiento in order to increase safety on that road; he also commented that to prevent crashes between the Glorieta el Pípila and the Glorieta Allende a ridge will be constructed. According to Romero, this work would reduce car accidents by 70 percent in the area, because most of the accidents occur when vehicles exiting from the nearby neighborhoods cross the road.
Mayor Mauricio Trejo said that there are plans for a bridge in the Glorieta El Pípila and he will insist on the completion of the freeway connecting Highway 57 with Dolores Hidalgo, which will diminish traffic through San Miguel de Allende. He remarked that he will have a meeting with personnel from the Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, which should help to avoid this type of accident.