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Thursday, January 26, 2023

Love them or hate them, pedestrian islands are coming soon

The Paseo de Montejo will be easier to cross, city officials promise

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
The pedestrian islands along Paseo de Montejo are still under construction. Photo: Lee Steele

Traffic features known as pedestrian islands are being built along several of Merida’s main avenues. 

Pedestrian islands are safety features consisting of small sections of pavement or sidewalk where pedestrians can stop before crossing the road.

They are often seen on roads with high speed limits where it may be difficult to cross on foot. 

On some avenues such as Paseo de Montejo, the traffic islands will also serve as a barrier between the road and the city’s new bicycle lanes

These traffic features have already been implemented in other Mexican cities such as Guadalajara, Morelia and Mexico City. 

“The use of features such as these pedestrian islands lessen the risk posed to pedestrians by motor vehicles. Furthermore, it is the duty of the government to ensure that its infrastructure is inclusive, safe and sustainable,” said a spokesperson for Mérida’s mobility and sustainability council.

Residents of Mérida appear to be divided regarding the new safety feature, with some users on social media praising the move, and others complaining that the islands look ugly and that they will further increase vehicle traffic by reducing available space on the city’s roads. 

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