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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Joggers just love Mérida’s new bike path, but do they belong on it?

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Lee Steele
Lee Steele
Lee Steele is the founding director of Roof Cat Media and has published Yucatán Magazine and other titles since 2012. Sign up for our weekly newsletters, so our best stories will appear in your inbox every Monday.
A jogger in Mérida yields to two cyclists on the Paseo de Montejo on Sunday morning in February. Photo: Lee Steele

The new bike paths on the Paseo de Montejo are popular — with joggers.

With no apparent prohibition against anyone out for a morning run, the narrow paths are being shared by both bicyclists and runners, many maskless.

Traffic on the paths goes in both directions, so joggers and cyclists are often playing a game of chicken. Either the cyclist or the jogger hops into a traffic lane or the sidewalk.

Although they forced drivers from the curb, police monitoring the morning action on the Paseo have not discouraged joggers from treading the paths.

Joggers have discovered the Paseo de Montejo’s bike path. Photo: Lee Steele

Mérida’s iconic boulevard looks more complicated since bicycle paths were wedged in and drivers are adjusting to narrower lanes and fewer spots to park or drop off passengers. Yellow bumps, orange traffic cones and white or green stripes meet with yet-undone pedestrian islands that connect with new crosswalks. The city is just beginning to publicize rules of the road.

The plan to make Mérida more bike friendly announced last fall.

Bike lanes are being carved into 72 kilometers / 45 miles of street. Construction is due to conclude in March.

Routes extend far beyond the Paseo.

A state-supplied map roughly indicates where new bike paths will be demarcated.

Paseo de Montejo – Dzibilchaltún: 15 km / 9 miles

The northernmost circuit will stretch between the remate de Paseo de Montejo and the Dzibilchaltún exit via the Prolongación de Montejo and the Progreso highway.

It will connect with existing bicycle lanes in Dzibilchaltún, Komchén and Temozón.

Northeast: 21 km / 13 miles

This section will cover the Glorieta de la Mestiza, from Periférico, the twin gas stations, Canek Avenue, Calle 128 Street and Avenida Colón.

The trail joins 10 km of existing bike paths. Various points will connect to the Francisco de Montejo area.

North – Ucú: 15.5 km / 10 miles

With this circuit bicyclists can connect with existing 8 km / 5 miles of bicycle lanes in Caucel, Francisco de Montejo and ​​the Las Américas neighborhoods.

South: 20 km / 12 miles

Existing lanes will connect to new ones from Calle 50 to Xmatkuil, as well as 86 alongside the airport, to create a combined 50-km / 31-mile circuit.

Yucatán has 57 bicycles per every 100 homes, making it the state with the most bikes per capita in Mexico. 

Related: Mérida’s new bike lanes cause confusion

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