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A Ring Road in the Air

By Jesús Aguado

A new road proposed to connect colonia San Luis Rey with the road to Dr. Mora fell by the wayside. Now the money is to be invested to improve Avenida Las Américas. Another road that would connect the road to Celaya with the road to Querétaro just exists in some people’s minds. There are no projects, just a drawing.

Projects like those listed are just ideas floating in the air, like the ring road to circle Corralejo-Comonfort-San Martín de Terreros-road to Dolores-Corralejo.

San Luis Rey-Dr. Mora

From April to June 2015, Ricardo Villarreal held his mayoral race. During that period, he talked with Atención about the new roads needed to take heavy traffic out of the city and also to improve vehicle mobility. One of his proposals was the construction of a road to connect the road to Querétaro with the road to Celaya, and another was to connect San Luis Rey with the upper area of the city.

In a recent interview for this paper, Villarreal commented that he and the members of his local administration had worked to achieve the San Luis Rey to Dr. Mora road; however, agreement with the land owners was impossible. “There were some achievements, but El Charco del Ingenio opposed the project. We have a document signed by César Arias, president of the nonprofit Charco del Ingenio, in which he mentioned that the drawing of the road where we proposed it was impossible.” Mayor Villarreal also said that some properties will be impacted, and since the local government cannot expropriate them, they have to work to achieve agreements.

The first drawing proposed by the local government had its origin on the road to los Rodríguez (on the way to Dr. Mora) and later impacted the land owned by Loreto Montes, but the project divided the property in two. According to Mario Hernández, director of the Charco del Ingenio, and Antonio Arana, subdirector of the Public Works Department in the government, Montes  said no to the proposal. “We proposed the construction of bridges to him so livestock could cross from one side to the other,” said Arana. However, Montes declined.

Loreto Montes then said that he could grant some land to the government on the edges of his property and the local administration prepared a second drawing that now would impact not just the Landeta park, but also El Charco del Ingenio. The director of that organization told Atención that the administration headed by Villarreal asked El Charco to donate a portion of land 25 meters wide by 270 meters long to continue the construction of the road, which in a few hundred meters also divided the San José de la Amistad community in two before connecting with San Luis Rey. Hernández. César Arias made it clear that according to the bylaws of El Charco, they cannot sell or donate the land, “not even if all the members of the council were in agreement.”

Two or three months ago, the city council was working on the projects and budgets for 2017 infrastructure, “and we needed the authorizations of the owners to construct the road. We could have lost the financial resources,” noted Mayor Villarreal. César Arias told Atención that El Charco submitted the letter to the administration and also said that the residents of San Sebastián de Aparicio were not in agreement with the drawing.

“We want the road, we need it, and actually we have been requesting it. In cases of fire, vehicles need to get into El Charco through the northern side,” remarked Arias, but he stated clearly that they do not want it where the administration wants to build it.

Moreover, Mario Hernández commented that in terms of managing, that would be one of the worst actions in the city and noted, “If there is a different proposal, we may say yes to it.” According to Hernández and Arias, the road is just to benefit the developers of places like Arte Santo, Ventanas, and even the Aqua Hotel. They also mentioned that it would be connected with the airport.

“I will keep working to have a satisfactory drawing and when we have it, if I am the mayor, getting the resources will be the easiest part,” assured Villarreal Garcia.

Avenida las Américas

Villarreal commented that to avoid losing the resources, the local goverment decided to invest the money to improve Avenida las Américas, a road that on the east side crosses Fraccionamiento Ignacio Ramírez. Antonio Arana, subdirector of Public Works, told Atención that the administration’s available resources were 18 million pesos for the first phase of three on the road to San Luis Rey. That money will now be used to improve the Avenida las Americas.

The improvements of Americas will feature concrete paving, lights, benches, machines for exercising, trash cans, sidewalks, and green areas. The work will start in August and may be finished before the end of this year. Avenida las Américas connects with prolongación Cuesta de San José that leads to the Historic Center.

Arana also commented that the local government already has a project for improving the unpaved Bordo road, which connects Avenida Primero de Mayo that connects to Avenida las Américas and can take drivers to the road to Dr. Mora. At this point, they just need the money, but they declined to talk more about it.

The Road Through the Picachos

In 1990 El Charco del Ingenio began the process with state authorities of appointing the Picachos Area as a Natural Protected Area (NPA), thanks to its richness in flora and fauna. In 2012 they started working with the State Institute of Ecology, conducting studies to protect the area. They also held a public citizens´ consultation that agreed to the idea. Everything “was ready,” but Governor Miguel Márquez never issued the decree.

Over the mountains or on the lower zone, the road to connect the Celaya-Querétaro roads would be constructed in the future. That idea has been in people´s minds for decades. Mayor Ricardo Villarreal said that there are some drawings but nothing official.

In San Marcos de Begoña lives 60-year-old Chinta Ramírez. She remembered that since childhood, she had listened to the idea of the road that would divide her father’s land in two. She owns it now, and she never liked the idea. Next to San Marcos is another community, Don Diego. Trinidad Hernández lives there. She has an opposite opinion to that of Ramírez. She told Atención that she has listened to the idea of having the road from several people. She commented, “I am old. If they give me the money, and I can enjoy it while I am alive, then I can say yes to the project.”

Ricardo Villarreal said that his administration is working on some drawings for the first step in this project. They will seek input from every single land owner. “After having the drawing, we could work on an executive project, but we cannot build roads in the air.” Once the executive project exists, it could be presented before the state government and later to the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation to make it happen.

“If we achieve the liberation of the lands in Rodríguez-San Luis Rey, we could build that [road] in 2018 and for the other, Picachos, we could leave the basis and an executive project; The next mayor—me if the law allows me to be reelected—could build it.”

Atención questioned Villarreal about the appointing of Picachos as a NPA. He responded that if it is appointed as a Natural Protected Area, that does not mean the road will not be constructed. A Natural Protected Area has a managing plan that must be respected. The Picachos are protected by the Ecological and Territorial Plan (POET), and Mayor Villarreal said that the road has been included there. A managing plan for the natural protected area cannot supersede the plans of a city, remarked Villarreal, who said that he respects those who want the Picachos to be declared an NPA. However, it does not need the designation because it is already protected by POET. Nobody can change that.

Mario Hernández commented that a road in the Picachos can be constructed, taking care of protecting the zone at the same time. He mentioned that if the road is built, it should be just for passing and there should be no areas allocated for construction of commercial centers, gas stations, restaurants, and other developments that could damage the flora, fauna, and the main space for the recharging of the aquifer. Hernández then commented that he participated in the creation of POET, and he knows that the Picacho area has the potential for becoming an NPA.

The letter of opposition

In the document submitted by El Charco to the local administration, the road San Luis Rey-Dr. Mora crossing the Jardín Botánico was opposed by the nonprofit organization for several reasons. Among them was the negative impact on the environment and what it represents to the ecosystem, the wild life, the landscape, the tranquility, and the safety of the area. According to the document, those elements make El Charco a relevant tourist destination in San Miguel de Allende.

The organization also explained that from their experience, this kind of road generates trash, noise, vandalism, and fires started by humans due to the easy access to the zone. The road, it was stated in the document, would destroy a great mass of plants “well conserved to date.” Those who signed it mentioned that the local administration should look for an option for the road 300 meters north of the area, where there is already a trail, the flora and fauna would not be impacted. It would also reduce the cost. El Charco proposed another trip to the drawing board.

The Ring Roads

One of the entrepreneurs’ organizations, CCE, represented by Benigno Torres, proposed the creation of several ring roads for improving mobility in the city.

The intermediate ring already exists of Libramiento Manuel Zavala and branches.

The centro ring is covered by Calzada de la Luz, Avenida Guadalupe, Prolongación Pila Seca, 20 de enero, Stirling Dickinson, 5 de Mayo, Camino a Xichú, Salida Real a Querétaro, Núñez, Calzada de la Presa, and Calzada de la Luz.

The historic city ring is covered by Mesones, Hernández Macías, Canal, Zacateros, Cardo, Mujica, Recreo, and Correo.

Macrolibramiento Centenario de la Constitución Is Open

On May 18, Enrique Peña Nieto, President of the Republic, inaugurated a new road, the  Centenario de la Constitución.

The new freeway begins at the junction of Palmillas and the autopista México-Querétaro and ends up in the junction of Apaseo el Grande in Guanajuato. Official information states that the road will reduce the time to get from the Bajío to Mexico City by one hour.

The 88-kilometer road has four lanes of concrete; nine junctions, 23 underground passes, nine elevated crossings and 15 bridges. It is calculated that 15 thousand vehicles will use this road daily.


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