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Noise regulations stalled again after deadline slips by

Todos Somos Mérida member says anti-noise awareness campaign is no substitute for solid regulations

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Merida’s Centro Historico has gotten noisier in recent years as nightclubs have moved in. Photo: La Jornada Maya

Merida, Yucatan — The city has missed its self-imposed deadline, again, to pass noise restrictions to protect Centro Historico residents.

Authorities had promised to move into discussion in the Cabildo by mid-May.

The previous administration also punted after promising noise regulations, allowing residents and a recent influx of nightclubs to coexist. Sound-proofing and restrictions on outside live music after hours has met resistance with bar owners and their young patrons.

“We have had promises since 2013 … once again, it is more of the same,” said Lorena Velázquez, member of the Todos Somos Mérida group, although she acknowledged that the present administration has shown more interest in the problem than the last one.

On April 25, city officials announced they were fine-tuning modifications to the Regulation of Environmental Protection and Ecological Equilibrium of the Municipality of Mérida. Mayor Renán Barrera Concha had promised to solve the problem of noise pollution in the city.

However, “again uncertainty and despair of the inhabitants of when it will be approved grows, on whether that regulation will protect us and if so, we have doubts about how much longer it will take to apply,” said Velázquez.

Inhabitants of the Historic Center and other parts of the capital, many of whom have joined the Todos Somos Mérida campaign, are still waiting for the promise of a solution to the urgent problem, she said.

Although residents in the group participated in meetings with authorities to discuss possible solutions, so far it is still unknown what the draft regulations contain.

Moreover, a “harmonic coexistence” awareness campaign announced a few days ago by the city, in conjunction with the Historic Center Preservation Board, only “generates confusion,” and falls far short of new laws, she said.

Raising awareness and sensitizing people is important, but that is a long-term process that must be done in a planned manner, she told La Jornada Maya. That is why we insist on the immediate measures that should be already in action, she concluded.

Source: La Jornada Maya

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