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Thursday, January 26, 2023

New fines for bike-lane abuses to come into effect

Fines up to 695 pesos for blocking a bicyclist

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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 Paseo de Montejo this morning, where new bicycle lanes have proven to be a polarizing topic. Photo: Lee Steele

Drivers and motorcyclists who drive, park or block Mérida’s new bicycle lanes can soon expect to be fined.

State authorities have said that the fines will be between 521 and 695 pesos.

It has not been specified if the new fine is applicable to persons on foot who misuse the lanes. 

Although the new bike lanes have not yet been inaugurated, cyclists have already begun to use them. 

State and municipal authorities have reported that once the project is complete, Mérida will have 71.7 kilometers of bicycle lanes that will traverse the city. 

It is unclear when the new fines will come into effect. An information campaign outlining the proper use of the bike lanes is expected before the project’s official launch in March.

A police spokesperson pointed out that the objective of the fines is to enforce the new rules and ensure the safety of Mérida’s roads.

“These bike lanes are an important component of our plan to optimize movement and transportation throughout Mérida. Many cities around the world, especially in Europe, are making similar investments and promoting the use of bicycles,” said Aref Karam Espósitos, director of Yucatan’s Institute for Mobility and Urban Development.

Will new fines be actively enforced, and will they actually dissuade rule breakers?

Cyclists in Mexico City have long complained about a lack of enforcement along bicycle lanes and a general ambivalence on the part of authorities. According to Cronica, the problem has become so bad that police now allow makeshift roadside stands to completely block lanes intended for cyclists. 

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