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Sunday, July 3, 2022

City puts pressure on utilities to fix sidewalk obstacles

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Metal plates owned by utility companies compound an already bad situation for pedestrians downtown. Photo: Sipse

Mérida, Yucatán — A woman on Calle 65, near 58, fractured her ankle after exiting a shop. This wouldn’t normally be a news story, but local media reported it to illustrate an ongoing problem with dangerous sidewalks in the Centro.

“Walking along the sidewalks of downtown Merida can seem like a feat and represents suffering for many people,” wrote a reporter for Diario de Yucatán. “Every day, in addition to dealing with agglomerations in peak hours, pedestrians have to overcome dangerous urban traps.”

Compounding the problem of uneven or crumbling concrete are the grates and covers owned by utility companies. CFE, Japay and Telmex are responsible for some of the metal pieces that create tripping hazards downtown.

A pedestrian at Calle 60 and 67 navigates a veritable obstacle course. Photo: Diario de Yucatán

City officials have taken it upon themselves to make a survey of the utility-owned obstacles, although it is the responsibility of the companies to repair their own property.

“Every night you can see city crews cleaning sidewalks, removing chewing gum and decals on traffic signs,” said Mayor Mauricio Vila Dorsal, a reminder that the municipality is dedicating resources to maintain the Centro Histórico.

Telmex, CFE or Japay must comply once the city gives them damage reports, he said.

With the 8-million-peso state grant, the city corrected sidewalks designed with a slippery coating which had proven treacherous in the rain.

Sources: Sipse, Diario de Yucatán

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