photo RSMAtnWebAdRed13.jpg

Mobility Law: Is It Respected or Not?

Samuel Mercadillo, traffic deparment

callejón del Pueblito

Callejón del Pueblito

calle Insurgentes

Ángel Gastelum

By Jesús Aguado

Flower pots, merchandise, chairs, giant puppets, and even vehicles parked on the sidewalks obstruct the mobility of pedestrians. According to the State Law of Mobility, pedestrians should be safe, and they should not have to navigate around holes that often have been covered with stones by the neighbors.

The local administration is also working on the reconstruction of the beltway to facilitate motorized transit. These new roads include wide sidewalks for pedestrians as well as cycle trails that will end at a certain point because cyclists and motorists will have to share the road in the center of town.

State of Guanajuato Law of Mobility

The current law was approved by the state congress and published in the Official Newspaper on March 18 this year. Article 9 considers that the law hierarchically benefits pedestrians—especially people with special needs and students—then cyclists, and then public transportation services. The same law states that local administrations have to approve their own regulations based on the local law, but in San Miguel there has been no proposal in the city council and no approval of one.

Regarding mobility for pedestrians, Article 41 is clear. Authorities will promote the safe transit of pedestrians and must guarantee that the sidewalks are never obstructed with any obstacles, and, in such a case, they will have to act to prevent it.

Pedestrians always have the right of way over cars, and they have the right to cross a street at junctions. Again, article 44 notes that sidewalks will be used only for pedestrian transit with a preference to people using wheel chairs or similar devices for mobility.

The uncompleted beltway and its cycle trails

Mayor Ricardo Villarreal has made many declarations about the reconstruction of the main road in the city, as well as how it matches with the Law of Mobility because it has a cycle trail that will promote the use of bicycles—as well as unobstructed walking to the Historic Center—leaving vehicles at the entrance of San Miguel at the Visitors Center (under construction).

In an interview with Atención, Mayor Villarreal commented that the Boulevard de la Conspiración—recently renamed Paseo de los Conspiradores—will have wide sidewalks where several sculptures will also be placed. Currently, those exhibited were created by artist Leonora Carrington, but Villarreal said that his administration is making agreements with embassies, asking them to donate contemporary sculptures from their best artists to place in the area. The Paseo will open on Sunday, November 27. Villarreal said that to promote family values and also to promote the use of bicycles, the two vehicle lanes for entering San Miguel will be closed every Sunday. He said that families will be able to walk the lanes, see the sculptures, go to the Sunday tianguis (market), and see the different exhibitions that will be in the zone.

There is just one cycle trail that goes from the Patrimonio traffic circle to the Allende traffic circle. Eventually, in a second phase, it will be extended from the Patrimonio traffic circle to the area of the universities on the road to Dr. Mora. However, the lanes for bicycles will end at Salida a Querétaro because eventually, said Villarreal, cyclists and drivers will have to learn to coexist in the Historic Center.

Cyclists are protected by local law and, as well as pedestrians, have the right to paths free of obstacles. The law states that if there are no cycle trails, cyclists must always on the right side, one meter away from the sidewalk, always respecting the direction of traffic circulation.

In the zone that goes from La Comer to Puente Bicentenario, two more lanes are being constructed. Mayor Villarreal said there will be space for cyclists and, of course, for pedestrians. The cycle trail will also go from Puente Bicentenario to La Cieneguita. However, nothing will be constructed at El Caracol because the incline of the road could put the physical well-being of people at risk. There is also a project for allowing not just bicycles, but also motorbikes.

Daily, hundreds of people—who should have a safe pedestrian passage to connect from La Comer to Plaza Alhóndiga and vice versa—surf among the vehicles that sometimes allow them to cross. In this area, only half of the pedestrian crossing is completed. On the other side, to connect the gas station with the bus stop at Plaza Alhóndiga, there is nothing. Felipe Tapia, director of Public Works, confirmed that there is a project to construct underground passages.

Sidewalks will be widened

Samuel Mercadillo, director of the Traffic Department, who showed photos of old San Miguel while speaking, said that decades ago, the sidewalks were wider. However, the use of vehicles gave rights to drivers and not pedestrians. For that reason, sidewalks were narrow. He also commented that in the mid-’90s, people who used to go out at night during the weekend parked their cars on the sidewalks of Mesones and Hidalgo. When he became director of the Traffic Department, all the vehicles were removed to the parking lot, and, after paying a fine, the drivers never parked on the sidewalks again “because they understood that what they were doing was not correct.”

Mercadillo also acknowledged that pedestrians were not even taken into account in the early 2000s when the Salida a Celaya was reconstructed. That is why there was no sidewalk there. The space destined for it was delimited by his department; however, drivers, looking for access to businesses parked their cars on the sidewalks. “We will keep working on campaigns, workshops, and fines to make them respect the transit regulations,” he said.

Among obstacles and holes

At the beginning of this year, Atención reported that some of the caps for underground cabling were broken. Director of Heritage and Sustainable Planning, Ángel Gastelum, said that they did not belong to the local administration but to the Federal Commission of Electricity and Megacable, so they had to be fixed under a request from the local government. Last week, Gastelum mentioned that his department had held several meetings with the companies, and they will repair their caps now that the local administration is investing three million pesos to improve some streets of the historic center and widen the sidewalks.

Gastelum also commented that, although there are not enough inspectors in his department, they always pay heed to reports of objects obstructing the sidewalks—mojigangas, structures, chairs, merchandise, and other items. Currently, people have not been fined for these obstructions, but he said that if they do not respect the law, the objects could be confiscated and those responsible fined.

Parking meters and pedestrians

Mayor Ricardo Villarreal said that to benefit pedestrians, the sidewalk on Ancha de San Antonio—on the Instituto Allende side—will be six meters wide, and the work will start in a few weeks. The construction will connect with calle Nemesio Diez to end up at Parque Juárez. On calle Aldama, some changes will be made so people can walk safely. Eventually, said Villarreal, the street will be for pedestrians only.

Finally, Villarreal said that placing parking meters in the historic center is still a viable project since people—especially visitors—have to leave their cars at the entrances to the city. “If they want to come in their cars to our Historic Center, they have to pay,” he commented.

 

Comments are closed

 photo RSMAtnWebAdRed13.jpg

Photo Gallery

Log in | Designed by Gabfire themes All original content on these pages is fingerprinted and certified by Digiprove