Calle 60, from the Government Palace to the Santa Ana Park, should ban vehicular traffic every day at 8 p.m. That’s the latest proposal from a restaurant trade group, Canirac, that has been working with state tourism officials.
Opening Calle 60’s numerous hotels, theaters, parks, restaurants and shops to a pedestrian mall in the evening would “inject more life” into the Centro, said the president of the local branch of Canirac, Alvaro Mimenza Aguiar, urging further investment into the restoration of the Historic Center.
Mérida has the second largest historic center of Mexico, only after Mexico City. But officials have struggled to capture visitors for more than a day or two. The Canirac chief complained that Mérida is 15 years behind other colonial cities like Campeche in terms of historic renovation and tourist development.
Paradoxically, he also suggested more trees be planted to beautify the Centro while also saying that the “problem of birds” should be addressed. Trash cans and a modern grandstand in Santa Lucia Park was also cited as needed improvements, where he noted that more sophisticated restaurants have opened despite his view that the park hasn’t been sufficiently promoted.
The pedestrian mall model has been adopted in historic zones all over the world, especially where narrow streets designed before the advent of modern cars and buses present a hazard to visitors.