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Plan revived to ban Centro Histórico traffic

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The historic center of Mérida could benefit from street closures, the mayor suggests. Photo: Diario de Yucatán

Mérida, Yucatán — A familiar idea has been given new life by the current city administration. Mayor Mauricio Vila Dosal is floating the concept of banning traffic in the heart of the Centro Histórico.

The idea is feasible, he said, because it is clear that Meridanos want to enjoy the attractions in the area.

He said that for months, the City Council has been working in coordination with the state government to develop a Partial Urban Development Plan for the Centro Histórico. The plan will take into account the interests of the city government, everyday pedestrians and merchants while creating a more atmospheric tourist attraction.

The proposal is nothing new. But the Secretary of Urban Development and Environment, Eduardo Batllori Sampedro, said the day before yesterday that he has revived the proposal as a measure to mitigate pollution generated by traffic.

Tourism Business Council President Jorge Escalante Bolio, announced his support of the proposal.

Community consensus

Vila Dosal said that when a draft plan is ready, it needs to be discussed in many quarters. Such a large measure requires dialogue; pushing it through by force would backfire, he said.

“The Centro Histórico is attractive for tourism, generates a lot of jobs and economic resources,” he said. “It is the sector that has a greater influx, about 300,000 people daily, which is 15 percent of the population.”

He acknowledged that the plan will have its detractors who worry about the impact on business.

“We need to talk, talk and always seek what is best for Mérida” said Vila Dosal. “Let it be a city for visitors, tourism, representing a significant economic impact, but especially for Meridanos walking every day through the Centro.”

The Partial Urban Development Plan for the Centro Histórico of Mérida will be released in six months.

With information from the Ayuntamiénto de Merida, Diario de Yucatán

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