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Clearing sidewalk obstructions is a constant battle for city

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Shops and restaurants regularly block pedestrians with signs or furniture. Photos: Lee Steele

Mérida, Yucatán — Despite the fact that several city regulations forbid merchants from blocking pedestrians, almost every day the city sends nearly two dozen warning letters to violators.

The Urban Development Directorate is in constant motion, cracking down on advertisements or furniture that encroach on public spaces.

For repeated noncompliance, fines can reach 100,000 pesos.

The head of the agency, Aref Karam Espósitos, said the problem is constant in the Historic Center and in several colonias.

“It is well established, not only in construction regulations but in others … that it is not allowed to extend or place objects on other properties, let alone the public path,” he said.

He noted that in most cases, it’s merely “temporary” objects that are placed in the way — plastic chairs and tables, or sandwich board signs advertising menu items.

In many cases, business owners are unaware that it’s illegal to spill over to the sidewalk to that degree, he said.

Fines are only assessed for repeat offenders, he said.

“We are fortunate that Meridanos are responsible and respond to the letters to avoid subsequent economic fines,” said Karam Espósitos.

Source: Sipse

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